From the Evening Standard about the changing face of London pubs, which is not as bleak as some portray it:
Bewilderingly, food is now considered as important as drink – pork scratchings do not count. The market is now increasingly about “food, family and females”.
A wail of lamentation can be heard from those diehards who are opposed to this formula. The best boozers will tolerate families up to a point, will serve food as long as it comes in packets, and have a strict policy on females which is that they must not interfere in any way with the business in hand.
Of course, these old fools should learn to live with the times. Pubs must reflect the communities they serve. No one these days wants to sit nursing a milk stout and scowling at the world as it passes by.
There have been persistent whispers that the London pub is dying, but that is far from the truth. At the beginning of 2007, there were around 5,700 pubs in the city and, since then, only 54 have closed, with half that number converted into restaurants.