For 265 years Simpson’s Tavern has been a huge part of the cultural and commercial life of the City.
It has, as it notes, survived fires, world wars, plagues and disastrous budgets with the same approach: carry on and eat sausages.
Now this paper’s Londoner’s Diary reveals it has shut in a dispute with a landlord over rent arrears built up during lockdown. The (Bermuda based) landlord has its reasons, but this remains an awful pity.
A City fan writes in: “The waitresses are all old and blunt. And everyone loves them. It has never changed. It is surrounded by sky scrapers and the planners to their eternal credit haven’t allowed developers to touch it.”
The pub is a three-minute walk from Leadenhall Market on Cornhill – a perfect place for insurers and bankers to meet, and exchange the sort of chatter you can’t do on the phone.
The very best bit about it? That whatever you order comes with a massive sausage. No one really knows why.
Simpson’s says the landlords are “unwilling to engage” on the money owed, which suggests they have other plans.
Hartnell Taylor Cook, which represents the landlords Tavor Holdings, sounds as sad as anyone at Simpson’s demise. It does not want to be known as the firm that finally sent a chophouse at the heart of the City since 1757 to its demise.
It hopes a deal can be made.
A crowdfunding exercise to save the pub, which you can easily find online, has raised at least £20,000 in short time.
It might need closer to £400,000 to get through.
This feels like an occasion for a public-spirited gesture by a wealthy City gent. A man who has perhaps frequented Simpson’s over the years and feels a debt of gratitude.
It would be unfair of us to single out either Michael Spencer or Crispin Odey. There’s no particular reason why this should fall on them. But why not chaps?
Remember the sausages.