Wednesday, February 04, 2015
LAMENTING LOST LONDON
Devastated to discover that Cafe Lido in Great Castle Street, W1 has closed! It was one of the few remaining old Italian cafe's in the centre of London. Having been eating there for many years I got to know some of the staff and was always greeted by them. As someone wrote: 'Real people owning it, home cooking on the premises, nippy service, strong tea and proper grub not overpriced chain restaurant nonsense.' Founded in 1945 by Italians, it appears that the present tenants could no longer afford the rent being charged by the new Chinese owner of the property. It, and the wonderful Linen Cupboard (which always looked as if it charged in £sd) next door are being converted into - another - Sushi bar. Both were remarkable survivors of a previous age. I fear central London is losing its character - Jimmy's Greek restaurant on Frith Street and Barons menswear shop on Piccadilly are other recent losses which have robbed London of it's family run, independent shops. There's so little left of these unique shops and eating places that helped make London what it is.