We’re saddened to report that the impact of gentrification in Stockwell is likely to lead to the demise of the Grosvenor in Sidney Street as a club and live venue.
Bought up by eyebrow-raising property developers Golfrate earlier this year, the current incarnation of the pub appears unlikely to be here this time next year.
Despite their less than savory reputation as pub guardians, Golfrate aren’t to blame for the landlord leaving (in fact he was offered decent terms to stay on) but he says that his hand was forced by changing demographics in the area.
Directly opposite the venue there is a large block of lifestyle apartments being built (with the cheapest property being a one bedroom flat for £340k), while another planned development would see new upmarket housing being built right next to the pub’s function room.
Given the likelihood of increasing complaints from new neighbours and the introduction of restrictions that would make the continuation of lively music nights an impossibility, the long serving landlord – who is very much responsible for shaping the pub as an excellent mid-sized gig venue – has decided to move on.
Whatever happens, the punky/folky/lively Grosvenor that many people have grown to love is destined to disappear forever.
A grand old pub
If you’ve never been, the Grosvenor is tucked away betwixt Stockwell Road and Brixton Road on the Stockwell/Brixton borders, and is one of south London’s finest old school venues.
Traditionally decorated, the large, friendly pub has two front bars and a large room at the back for putting on bands and performances. It has a pool table and there’s a good selection of real ales on tap. Folk bands often play acoustic sets in the front bar.
Best of all, it’s not stuffed full of jingling-jangling, cash-sucking, annoying fruit machines.
The backroom is a jewel of a gig – I’ve put on a few Offline Club nights there myself – and the Grosvenor provides an important medium-sized venue for local musicians and performers.
I’ve seen some great shows here.
The pub’s value as a community asset is reflected by the hugely diverse range of activities that go on there, and the loss of such a facility will surely be detrimental to the area as a whole.
On the piano can be found this commemorative plaque to my old friend Mike Llewellin, a hugely talented tuba player, Grosvenor regular and all round top fella.
A view of the back bar.
Visit the pub here:
17 Sidney Road, Stockwell, SW9 0TP.
The Grosvenor website.