Today the historic Thomas A Becket pub is having its license application reviewed by Southwark Council to reopen as a Cypriot bar & grill called Rock Island.
The pub was closed 2 years ago. While drunk and rowdy clientele have been a persistent issue, the final straw came when a man had his neck slashed with a broken glass bottle. This prompted the council to revoke the pub’s license, and it was quickly shut down.
The pub, which is a grade 2 listed building, has a particularly rich boxing history, with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Sugar Ray Leonard having trained there for matches. It is also connected to London’s rock music heritage; its second floor was used as a rehearsal space for David Bowie when he was recording his now legendary 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
Now with the potential reopening, local residents are worried that noise and nightly disturbance will resume, while conservationists are worried about the loss of the pub’s heritage.
Derek Buckley, who has been living above the pub for 5 years, however, remains optimistic – “I don’t think it’ll be a problem. It all depends on the clientele. If they just stay open until 1am, I don’t think it’ll be a problem at all.”