2
Jul 04

PUBWATCH

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 372 views

PUBWATCH

No, not a local scheme which unfairly says Banned In one, Banned In All. Rather an occasional series keeping our eyes on pubs which are being refurbed and what they turn into. Or in this case, a pub which the entire building which houses it is being refurb/kncoked down by determinedly remains open. I am talking about The Windmill.

The Windmill is a fascinating little pub. It occupied the far right corner of a truly nasty piece of late fifties officedom on Tottenham Court Road. Near the architecturally grander Rising Sun and Fitzroy Tavern it always seemed like a poor relation. Yet I have a very soft spot for its large round sofas, its twenty odd televisions and stinky urinal. And as that nasty building is being taken apart to be replaced by something more modern looking (though equally inept from first sighting) it is great to see that under the scaffolding the Windmill is still there, and still open.

You would think it might be dispensable. However think about long term leases, think about tenacious freeholders but mostly think about the name of the street. As mentioned the seemingly more established Fitzroy Tavern and Rising Sun book-end this street, and they both date back to late Victoriana. Yet the street is called Windmill Street. It strikes me that the street is named after the pub, but not this version. Instead perhaps there was a Windmill pub on this site which was demolished to make way for the big building. The caveat being that a Windmill pub would always remain. It is a comforting thought. It might even be true.

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