This weekend sees one of London’s most famous greasy spoons, The New Piccadilly, close it’s doors for the final time.
The place has been serving up low cost grub to students, bohos, office workers and pensioners since the 1950s, a classic formica clad time warp of a place where the waiters dress as sailors and shout at each other, a place stubbornly untouched by the creeping dread that is ‘human progress’, right there, just outside the door.
We went down yesterday for a Socialism editorial meeting to say goodbye to the New Piccadilly, somewhere that’s been a safe haven for so many for so long, tucked away as it is from the Mc-High Street, doing it’s own thing. I don't want us to come across all dewy eyed about how things will never be the same, but surely a place like this can co-exist with all those chains selling you two shot soya foaming skinny lattes. Surely somewhere serving just about drinkable coffee in glass cups has a place in our society in 2007???
Anyways, our meals, in case you were wondering were - starter - 4 slices of bread and margarine. Mains - ham and mushroom omelette and chips/steak pie, chips and peas, cup of coffee/coke. Change from twenty quid for two. It was both reassuring and disappointing to have to queue up because it was so packed - if it had been this busy once or twice a week, maybe it would have survived? In the end, we were just glad to be able to say goodbye. We’ll miss it, what a shame.