5 'New' Pubs Promised For City Of London By 2027

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 7 months ago

Last Updated 19 December 2023

5 'New' Pubs Promised For City Of London By 2027
A grey bricked pub, with people hanging around outside
The currently closed St Bride's pub will be restored and reopened by 2027.

A "flurry" of new pubs has been promised for the City of London in the coming years, with a combination of reopened, relocated — and newly established — boozers slated by 2027.

As part of the ongoing plan to turn the Square Mile into a destination in its own right (particularly at weekends), the City of London Corporation has vowed to put a handful pubs in more prominent locations, with more floorspace, external areas, improved accessibility — and throwing in some striking architectural statements to boot.

A modern looking pub with glowing windows, as part of a a larger development
The White Swan is being relocated, and should open again in 2025.

It's not quite as straightforward as that, though. The original pubs on this list have had to make way for office buildings — so it's a bit rich to brand them "new pubs" as such. Still, while some pubs on this list should never have been allowed to be demolished in the first place (rest in peace Star and Still), this is an opportunity for some striking new modern pubs in an area already chocka with historical ones.

Here are the pubs on the docket, all of which are touted to open by 2027, including The White Swan, which is planned for reopening in 2025:

The White Swan, Fetter Lane

Even when it was open, you could easily have missed the White Swan, inhabiting a humble portion of Fetter Lane — and to be honest, it wasn't the most remarkable pub inside, save the pewter mugs hanging above the bar, and a massive stuffed swan in a glass case. This City boozer — the first of the five to open — will now be relocated on a 'prominent double aspect corner location' at 99 Fetter Lane, and will feature tall windows, a mezzanine level and a 'bold blue faience' (despite the artist's impression, above, looking altogether grey). There also seems to be the lack of a 'White Swan' sign in the CGI — you'd hope they add one in.

A modern looking pub at the base of a tall glassy building
Mock-ups for the The Still and Star show a verdant colour scheme.

The Still and Star, Aldgate

The Gentle Author wrote an ode to the Still and Star after it closed in 2020, paying tribute to the cosy old 'slum pub', which was sketched by Gustave Dore, no less. It's being replaced by... yup, an office block, which seems a myopic decision if ever there was one. The City of London Corporation says the building is "currently concealed in an unattractive setting", and will be moved to a prominent location near the former Aldgate City gate. By moved, it actually means the Still and Star 2.0 will be built as a green (!) concrete cast of its predecessor. The mock-ups do look genuinely alluring, but if anyone thinks they can recreate the atmosphere of the old place, they're sorely mistaken. This one, in our opinion, is a mistake.

St Brides Tavern, Blackfriars

Barrel-shaped windows aside, there was little wow factor to the late 1950s St Brides Tavern — although that's not to say City workers and tourists don't already miss the hospitality of husband and wife team David and Karen Perkins. (One former punters said "‘You come to the pub as a guest and leave as a friend."). The new office building going up in this case looks altogether bricky and rather smart, with the pub located at the bottom (though the design for the pub itself is perhaps a touch drab). The saddest thing in this case is that the couple who ran the old St Brides have claimed they won't be able to afford to run the new one. If that's true, it's bang out of order.

A tall, arched pub with green floral patterned wallpaper everywhere
The proposed interior for the Still and Star is striking too.

The King's Arms, 55 Old Broad Street/London Wall

The only pub on the list that's currently open, The King's Arms has been called "visually anonymous in a 1960s unattractive office block" by the City of London Corporation, which aims to change that, when the pub is closed for restoration works as part of the 55 Old Broad Street redevelopment. We're promised the reinvigorated King's Arms will be 're-imagined as a prominent new focal point, featuring a larger external terrace', and will also feature 'a striking and bold red faience to attract the eye along London Wall'. (The City really is going to have some colourful boozers come 2027 — in the most literal sense.) Said 55 Old Broad Street redevelopment, by the way, is the controversial one, which the Victorian Society says will compromise the beautiful old Turkish Baths nestled in this area.

An illuminated red brick courtyard
Plans for the Salisbury Arms will see a listed three-story building converted into the new pub.

Salisbury Arms, Salisbury Square

The Salisbury pub you're probably best acquainted with is the one in Covent Garden — but it'll also be the name of a 'brand new' boozer touted for Salisbury Square in the City — and by brand new, we mean the pub will be established in a repurposed listed building. A terrace overlooking a revamped Salisbury Court is promised, which should make for a splendid drinking spot on balmy summer evenings.