One of the pubs due to be visited — The Albany — was actually closed for refurbishment so had to be missed. Instead Mike and friends ventured into an extra pub, the Dover Castle in Weymouth Mews, Marylebone.
At one time there were many more pubs than there are today in Fitzrovia. Over the decades, many of Fitzrovia’s pubs have closed. One of these the Bromley Arms in Cleveland Street still has its facade but is now an office. The Black Horse in Rathbone Place closed last year after its owners sold it. A planning application to convert it to a hamburger restaurant is expected soon and there are plans for the upstairs accommodation to be converted to flats.
The decline of pubs has been blamed on a number of factors. Partly because of changing drinking habits. There has been an increase in the consumption of wine and many people now drink at home after buying cheap booze from supermarkets.
Many people would not consider visiting a pub because of religious and other reasons. But public houses are also seen as an important part of social life. The Institute of Public Policy Research in a 2009 report found that people regarded pubs as a very important meeting people and socialising.
Interview with Mike Pentelow in The Tottenham on Oxford Street