Killing Off Your Favorites

This story got me thinking:

Ed Sheeran has got his neighbours choking on their chorizos – with plans to turn a much-loved Spanish restaurant into a music bar.
The star bought the Galicia tapas bar in London’s swish Portobello Road for £1.5million last year.
The 28-year-old, who lives nearby, reportedly wants to transform it into a live music venue with a ‘members’ club vibe’. But residents who described Galicia as ‘one of the last authentic Spanish restaurants in London’ spoke of their dismay yesterday at finding out its new owner is one of the world’s biggest pop stars.

There are all sorts of issues to be addressed here.

I think we’ve all asked the question, “What happened to that cool place where we used to go..?” (the typical answer being, of course, that if you’d gone there more often, the place wouldn’t have disappeared).  I have no idea whether the Galicia fell into this category, but I suspect it might have.  After all, Spanish food is pretty much an exotic cuisine in London, and people will not go there all that often (much as, say, Murkins don’t often visit Greek restaurants Over Here unless they’re of Greek origin or if they, like myself, love Greek food).  Clearly, the owners of the Galicia either wanted to sell the place for personal reasons or had to sell it because they weren’t making money off the place.

The second issue is that of course, if you buy a piece of property, you’re quite within your rights to change it (subject to the usual restraints, of course), and pop star Sheeran wants to create a private drinking club for himself and, probably, his buddies — which makes nonsense of this wail from a local:

‘If it turns into a members’ club where they charge £3,000-4,000 a month to join, nobody from around here will go.’

Hate to break it to you, you idiot, but you’re probably not welcome there anyway.  Sheeran doesn’t need the money from the subs:  it’s a means to keep the local riff-raff out, much as the restaurant in L.A. that used to sell $100 burgers and was frequented mostly by celebrities who welcomed the privacy those prices afforded them.

No, I can’t say I have too much sympathy for the complainers here.  If Galicia was indeed “one of the last authentic Spanish restaurants in London”, it doesn’t say much for the popularity of Spanish food there, does it?  (You only have to go to southern Spain, where Brits go to avoid the crappy London weather, to see the truth of this.  Almost all the restaurants and bars offer “Full English Breakfast!”, “Fish & Chips!” and “English Bitter Ale!” — Spanish food clearly doesn’t satisfy the visitors.)

The only thing that mystifies me about all this is how the reedy-voiced Sheeran managed to amass an £80-million fortune.


  1. “But residents … spoke of their dismay…”

    Those residents should have bought the property or STFU.
    Is it me or does there seem to be a lot more whiney fux running lose out there?

    1. @Ghost, @Kim,
      Over the weekend I read a report about a pub in some small English town that was rescued by the town residents. The building was scheduled to be razed by its owner, Giant Mega Corp and new luxury apartments (or some such nonsense) were supposed to be built on the property. The town started a fundraising campaign, bought the property, and restored the Ye Olde Pub and Gathering Place to its former glory. Now, the place is mutually owned by some 400+ of the township and everyone has a rip-roaring good time, has a convivial place to gather, etc., etc., etc. Grass roots in action. Only wish I had saved the URL to the article.

      1. Too good a story to leave lay. Bad news is that only links readily found were NPR – “National Panhandler Radio” or some UK equivalent. Presumably all patrons know each others names.

        March 10, 2019
        It Takes A Village To Save A British Pub
        Frank Langfitt

        The Packhorse pub sits in the tiny village of South Stoke in the west of England amid rolling hills dotted with sheep. For more than a century and a half, it played a crucial role in the village and marked milestones in the lives of local families.
        Gerard Coles, who was born half a mile from the pub and now brews cider nearby, started coming to the Packhorse when he was 15 and underage, sometimes with his school teacher for lunch.
        “The chap who came to put in our new gas main said he was conceived in the back garden,” recalled Trevor John, a retired accountant, who has lived here for almost 30 years.
        But in 2012, Punch Taverns, a corporation that owns about 1,300 pubs across the United Kingdom, sold the Packhorse so it could be converted to housing and office space.


      2. Guess we’ll just hafta wait and see how all them 400 citizens work out the fine details of running a business. At that volume of “owners” it sounds like a gov’t to me, and we all know how that works out.

  2. My priest recently did a pilgrimage, which included a hike along a route in Spain. This is a guy who loves all food; there’s not a single type of cuisine at which he’ll turn up his nose, but he got tired of Spanish food about a week in. He said that once you’ve had the Jamon Alberico, the rest of the stuff is just oil-cured olives and wine, which are good, but you can’t eat them 24/7.

    As for Ed Sheeran – if I had $80 million laying around, I’d have my very own private cigar bar and lounge that I and my friends could lounge in, and I’d be damned if he shouldn’t have the very same thing if he wants.

    1. Your priest is correct for ‘average’ Spanish food, which is why McDonald’s does a roaring business. The three at the north south and middle of the Ramblas in Barcelona often have a lineup. Spaniards don’t like Spanish food.

      If you want to pay a lot you’ll do better, and often high end Tapas are great, but it is surprisingly hard to find good Spanish food.

      They do love their ham though. You can buy a whole ham at a high end department store for a mere $700.

      1. I used to raise my own pigs. I wouldn’t pay $700 for an entire hog, I don’t care how many acorns the thing has eaten. For $700 I can build a pigsty surrounding a field of oak trees and raise my own damn ham.

        Good grief!

        Say, that gives me an idea……

  3. “… how the reedy-voiced Sheeran managed to amass an £80-million fortune.”

    Allegedly, the words “autotune” and “plagerism” were involved.

    I confess to owning and quite liking several selections from three of his CD’s, but the snark will out. 🙂

Comments are closed.