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6 July 2010

Drink at the Reliance

The Reliance, on Old Street, was once a pub to which your author went regularly, but visitations have markedly dropped off in recent months. It is still a good spot, however, and is a great example of how a pub can have a modern air but still be attractive and interesting.

The unit has not always been a pub, and we know that in 1910 number 336 was home to a shop fitters and carpenter called Maund's, later becoming a wholsale cycle factors. It was a Furniture Works by the late 1940s and then a mantle manufacturers called Bronitt & Carmell. By the late 1960s it had become a ladies coat manufacturer, and all this industry is indicative of how the area has changed.

For your author, in an age where the pub is supposedly on the decline, it is welcome that a building which has had so many previous lives has found a role as such an attractive and characterful pub, particularly as it sits within the South Shoreditch Conservation Area. Whoever designed it hit on a great plan of apparently buying up (...or making convincing fakes of...) parts and photographs of an old barge called "The Reliance" and naming their new pub after it. The results, including an old name plate from the barge, bring history and character into a pub which is much newer than it lets on.

It has a nice downstairs and also a spacious upstairs which fancyapint notes is 'a perfect vantage point for counting the number of blokes walking down Old Street who've opted for wearing unnecessary hats'. In this area, you have to come prepared for that sort of thing.

For more, see http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub591.php

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