Greenwich town centre: What went wrong?


There’s something sadly bleak about the centre of Greenwich at the moment, with Greenwich Hospital deciding to stick scaffolding up all around Nelson Road at the height of the tourist season, with (I hear) terrible effects for shopkeepers. With St Alfege’s under wraps too, the place isn’t looking too welcoming.

But no matter how ill-timed, at least this work is only temporary. This is permanent…

Until five years ago, this was an old man’s pub called The Cricketers. Then it was bought by Greenwich Inc – the kiss of death. Its first reincarnation as a gay pub was short-lived, its second as a tiki bar even shorter. Now… possibly the tackiest-looking chip shop which looked like it’s been shipped in from Costa Del Arsehole. What have we done to deserve this? Can’t we just have our pub back, please?

17 comments

  1. What I especially love it the way it proclaims “serving fish and chips from this site since 1770.” Definitely of a piece with the way GHE aim to replace real history with fake history.

    AS for the tackiness… remember, that’s a part of Greenwich too!

  2. I think you may have answered your own question “can we have our pub back” by pointing out that the last three occupants of the site had to close, presumably because there either too many pubs around the markets or there was just not enough demand. Surely it is better to have a new shop rather than an empty one and it is better having this rather than a starbucks or a chicken and kebab shop. Although it does look a bit garish and the statement “serving fish on this site since 1787” is downright misleading I think it looks a lot better than the restaurants and cafes on the other side of the market. I may give their fish and chips a go tonight so I will reserve full judgment until then.

  3. Tim – the last two incarnations of a “pub” on that site were a glitzy gay bar and as a tiki bar. I don’t think claiming the site failed as a pub really stacks up with that evidence in mind, and when you recall that Inc Group were merrily buying successful Greenwich businesses at the time they bought the Cricketers.

  4. If you look at the blight of chicken shops and poundsaver types that dominate most high streets, particularly my manor of Bromley, Greenwich has got off pretty lightly. Yeah its gaudy but at least its new, modern and clean. And its work for some people where there was none before.

  5. Is the fish and chips ‘since 1787’ a relation to the sign that used to be outside the Trafalgar (built in the 1840s) which said ‘Nelson’s Favourite pub’
    (battle of Trafalgar 1805)????

  6. I saw this the other day. Fresh fish from Billingsgate market. Not too keen myself but I have a feeling the tourists will lap it up. A good bit of business I reckon. Why can’t we have our pie shop back, sob.

  7. It is a real shame that the Greenwich town centre ‘tourist experience’ doesn’t include a proper, traditional pub. It is also a shame that there is less and less history in the town centre, and more and more plastic eateries. The town centre now just lacks a soul. Or an identity.

  8. The Inc group and Frank the Yank might not be everyone’s cup of tea but he has ideas and money. Who knows what we might not have had without him. As you will appreciate, my own neighbourhood of Charlton has been crying out for a Frank for twenty years. It would be a breath of fresh air just to see a new restaurant or bar with proper investment etc.

  9. Yikes! For an organisation supposedly proud of a reputation for preserving heritage, that is hideous. Don’t they set any conditions on frontages in heritage areas anymore?

    The soul-destroying look asides, I’ll also be popping by to try them out. Maybe they’ll be cheaper than some of the alternatives around the place…..

  10. If you care you could write to the conservation officerat greenwich council; I believe if they’re changing advertising signs they do need permission and you could argue this has a detrimental effect on the West Greenwich conservation area. Some outraged local residents recently got the poor old Fresh Prince of Greenwich on Royal Hill to change its signage.

    But knowing the Inc group, this new incarnation too will fail, and there will be new signage in place a year from now anyway.

  11. I was born in Turpin lane in 1949 off of Greenwich Market which is now an architects office opposite the pub. Married in St Alfeges. I go to Greenwich now and now look at the area and could cry and see the state of the Market done in the name of progress , SHAME on the developers and bigger SHAME on the council supposedly looking after out interest. My parents used to use the Cricketers Pub. It would have been a great real ale pub know. Some people have no class It looks like the site has been developed after the BLITZ. SHAME

  12. INteresting everyone is so quick to defend it before saying they will give it a go… then… nothing! have you seen their fish in special batter?! It might be cheaper than fish chips in blackheath but surely that’s all it has going for it…

  13. “Serving fish and chips from this site since 1770”. Is that against some form of advertising/trading standards? It implies that the business of serving fish and chips has been continuous since 1770 – and it obviously hasn’t. I can’t believe they could get away with such tripe.

  14. You compare describe Greenwich Inc to the Kiss Of Death, I’m guessing they have a reputation? I have just done £1500 worth of building works for them which they have refused to pay for 2 months now, their story is changing every week aswell, have any more info on this joke of a company?! any help would be appreciated

  15. Was just reminiscing about The Cricketers, where I worked briefly as a 24 or 25 year old (24 or 25 years ago!) “holiday-maker” and came upon this page. I have very fond memories of the place and the people, although I do remember pouring my very first pint and nearly being fired! Little bit too much head on the beer (I’m Canadian) and “I paid a pound for a pint’s worth of beer and a pint’s worth is what I expect!!” was the patron’s stern response…Quick learning curve and had a great time working there. Sad to hear of it’s..passing…a toast to the 80’s

  16. Let’s get something straight “The Cricketer’s” was a successful pub. there was always a good crowd in there and certainly not an “Old Man’s” pub! – but usually free of loudmouth yobbos. It certainly did not have to close – the owner just had to sell, as he was retiring abroad due to ill health. The buyers could have easily kept the place going under the same name and style – but greed made them think otherwise …

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