The Grapes

 
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'Straight' pub co-owned by Ian McKellen
Olde-worlde 1729 riverside pub in atmospheric Limehouse in east London, taken over in September 2011 by famed stage and screen actor Ian McKellen (a Limehouse local), accomplished stage and film director and McKellen's ex, Sean Mathias, and Russian-British businessman and publisher Evgeny Lebedev (owner of freebie London weekday newspaper the Evening Standard and The Independent). The rather narrow and pokey pub stands on a spot occupied by taverns as early as 1583, and was frequented by Charles Dickens and referred to in the opening chapter of his 1865 novel Our Mutual Friend. Painter Francis Bacon previously lived in Narrow St. This is not a gay pub per se, but certainly is driven by a quality-gay sensibility. No television, no fruit machines, no children and no piped-in music. But yes to real ales and good food — including fish, home-made pies (including the "Sir Ian" Meaty Shepherds Pie) and Sunday afternoon roasts — served upstairs in an intimate room which, like the ground floor, features a terrace overlooking the Thames. Succeeds in not being precious or pretentious, but not at all dull. Managed by Paul de Lange (Mathias's partner). DLR station: Limehouse, then a five-minute walk.

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    • freshlyroasted
      freshlyroasted Over a year ago
      Loves it

      good beer and food
      Good beer and food. A nice change from the offer in so many gay establishments

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