24
Dec 09

The FT Top 25 Pubs of the 00s No 15: The Blue Posts, Rupert Street

Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 2,052 views

You can fall in love with a pub. Sometimes there are pubs which you are suited to, fit with your personality and your needs perfectly. These may be locals, ones which make you feel at home, or they could be pubs which just do everything in the way you want them to. And in the full flood of young love they may just be the pubs that were available.

The Blue Posts, Rupert Street, was my first London love. Sure I had dallied with a few pubs in Oxford, and there were a few old boilers in my suburb that I had affection for, but the BPRS was the first pub I “discovered” and made mine. And we fit together perfectly. It was a small, unpretentious pub in the heart of the West End, set on a tiny alley which is a perfect rat run between China Town (China Street more like) and the Trocedero. It had a downstairs built mainly for vertical, and stool based drinking but a good selection of ales and a compact but well stocked bar. Upstairs was not always open, the bar upstairs even less so though they were always happy to ferry stuff up in its dumb waiter. But upstairs had five tables which it was possible to fit a largish group around and for its size, you could always have a good night in there. I think the pokiness of the downstairs put people off exploring. My enthusiasm for it is cataloged here.

In the earliest days of going there I thought that Rupert Street was just an extension of Berwick Street, that the bottleneck of Raymond’s Revue Bar did not change the name of the street. This led to, very early on, the odd confusing line of calling it The Blue Posts, Berwick Street – which is of course a pub in its own right. Which then led me on to the existence of the six central London Blue Posts. My pub now had history and stories about it. Berwick Street (and Rupert Street by actual extension) was my favourite street in central London, when I used to bunk of school it was always my destination. By the time the 00’s came around I could happily tell stories of youthful wide eyed wanderings, avoiding disaster (one of those bunking off days had me missing the Kings Cross Fire by twenty minutes), sleeping in a pub (the White Horse Rupert St), bumping into pop stars and stories of the Blue Posts itself. There was an entertaining early UK blog meet there. The first Trig Brother had a key moment in this pub. I had my 28th birthday in this pub, taking over the whole upstairs on a Friday night. Not to mention this sterling write up in its place as part of the epic Blue Posts’ Pub Crawl.The Blue Posts Rupert Street seemed to offer everything, including a wonderful jukebox.

You can fall out of love with a pub. Sometimes it is you. Sometimes it is them. With the BPRS it was both of us, but it started with the jukebox. The jukebox had always been a draw when small groups of us would congregate downstairs. Our pop agenda was well served by this jukebox, though it also allowed for storming renditions of Immigrant Song and Meatloaf. Then suddenly it wasn’t there. Within weeks the space the jukebox had been had been replaced with some low tables. The beer changed, the ale went down to London Pride and more dull lagers popped up. Upstairs seemed to be closed or booked out every night, the staff were different. We catalogued its decline here.

OK, I had changed too. Now I was going out drinking with much larger groups. Manageable Friday nights of six or seven people were going upwards of ten every week. Midweek Soho drinks were skewing towards Sam Smith’s pubs because of the expense. And what expense. I think the BPRS was the first place I liked that sold me a three pound pint. Blackboards were outside it, enticing in tourists. The Blue Posts Rupert Street was no longer the pub it was, and I was a different drinker. We drifted apart. A friend had her 29th in there: the pub was seeing other people.

I didn’t go in it for five years.

I have been a couple of times recently, just for old times sake. Another friend had a birthday meet in it, citing happy times. We were cramped at the bar, though the beer was better than it had been when I fell out. The table arrangement still seems crazy downstairs, and they seem to put on live music at incomprehensible times. Another time we went, the whole downstairs was booked out for a party. When has a pub ever booked out its main room, but left its function room open? The staff got pernickity about how many people were sitting around our table, to maximize seating opportunities. The last time I was in there, I almost got into a fight with an old geezer who had left his coat lying around on the only free table. The pub itself menaced me. Sometimes you can’t go back.

But the Blue Posts Rupert Street is there for the memories. I’ll go back again, maybe in five years. It is still my first real pub relationship. But you can’t live in the past, and you certainly can’t drink there.

Comments

  1. 1
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 24 Dec 2009 #

    curiously enough, BPRS is also home to my earliest london pub memory of a social nature, the last time i saw cath hull, girl pal from my “wild punk” days — which were neither really but are dense for me with memories of time in the spaces between routine life, the days before i knew what i could do or how to do what i wanted to

    she was with her boyf, who i recall not at all except she seemed nice, and she was moving out of london down south somewhere — and i never saw her again, or have the slightest idea where or how she is

    well i hope: and steph nicholls too, who also lived at 14 regent street of gentle memory — who i last saw behind the counter at our price in leicester square, before she went on the festival trail

  2. 2
    porkypie on 24 Dec 2009 #

    up north, your Blue posts can also be called the Blue Stoops, such as the one round the corner from mothers’ house.

  3. 3
    Alex on 28 Dec 2009 #

    The BP, Berwick St should surely come up in this list as well…especially as I used to walk to and from work past it down Berwick Street/Walkers Court/Rupert Street, on my way between Waterloo Station and Mortimer St. Always tempting on the way home.

    I recently went back that way for the first time since I’ve been living in London itself. gone is the pimp at the bottom of Berwick St, brand new empty blairevka has landed on the corner…the posts, however, survives.

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