On Thursday I happened to meet the man behind my favourite pub in London. The Lion in Stoke Newington has been my favourite pub ever since I first moved to the city, all those years ago.
I claimed it as my local even though it was a good 20 minute walk from my old (very) humble abode. I love it because it has a cosy and cool atmosphere, because it doesn’t shut till 2am at the weekend and because I have had so many memorable, amazing nights in there.
After I told all of this to Mr Lion, he said, ‘”well that’s a shame because I’ve sold it and it’s becoming a pizza restaurant from Jan 3rd”. “Hahahaha, you’re joking right?” No, no he wasn’t.
*Enter totally irrational reaction from me*
Everyone has places that mean something to them and for me The Lion has been a constant in a life of change. It’s been the backdrop of so many hilarious drunken evenings. I’ve been in love, I’ve been heartbroken, I’ve cried, I’ve lost my shit, I’ve been thrown out, I’ve gate-crashed a private party, watched friends make bad decisions with bad people, sang, laughed, danced all in the confines of one little pub.
I’m so sad this place will be gone, but the beauty of London is that it is constantly changing and I guess it is time for people to start making new memories, margherita-based memories.
This year has all been about politics, but in the future when we look back at our younger years we aren’t going to remember earning 50 quid more a month because one government or another changed the tax threshold, we’re not going to remember the new recycling bags from the local council, we’re going to remember the places we went to, the nights out we had, that guy that you met in that bar one time. It’s the women and men who create something, start-up something, own something that make the biggest contribution to our lives.
So to Mr Lion, I want to say thank you for the memories, thank you for the good times and thanks for making something very special for lots of people for a period of time. Thanks to you, there are marriages, babies, a lotta lotta laughs and hangovers, shit loads of hangovers. P.S I know you were drunk when you agreed to this but can I really have the yellow leather sofa?