- Frightful fun in Bath
June 1, 2013
Bath has strange things that go bump in the night.
- As the birds fly
June 1, 2013
TOI-Crest lists five 'hotspots' where scores of exotic birds and curious birders flock each year.
- The other Dali, also surreal
May 18, 2013
This quaint Yunnan town has managed to retain its olde worlde charm. You are unlikely to find any flaw in its design aesthetics.
- In This Section
- Entire Website
From the Times Of India
- MOST POPULAR
One for the road
Christopher Hitchens has had a bar in Toronto named after him. Other literary giants like Hunter S Thompson and Ernest Hemingway who were fond of the bottle have been similarly honoured
Writers and fictional characters have inspired pub names in the past: There are a dozen Shakespeare taverns from Bristol to Sheffield, three Sherlock Holmes pubs in London, a Daniel Defoe in Stoke Newington and a Milton's Head gastropub opposite John Milton's cottage in Chalfont St Giles. But now a different class of literary-theme bars has appeared.
Last year, the Hunter S was launched in north-east London, a shrine to Hunter S Thompson, the master of gonzo journalism, author of 'Hell's Angels' and 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. His life was marked by a deranged love of guns, a suicidal ingestion of Class A drugs and a charged prose style that any hack would kill for. The pub can't commemorate all that, so its walls are festooned with guns, the horned heads of stuffed wildlife and a handful of sketches by Thompson's frequent illustrator, Ralph Steadman. The lavatory urinals are gaping, lipsticked female mouths, the jukebox plays delta blues and a large selection of rums and Thompson's favourite bourbon, Wild Turkey, sits behind the bar.
The management team, Seven Eighths, also owns The Hemingway in Victoria Park, Hackney. "As a scholar, philanderer, seasoned drinker and general exponent of the good life, " they say of the tirelessly self-mythologising and suicidal Ernest, "it seemed a fitting name by which to christen this lovely, grade-two listed building. "
Dublin has had a James Joyce's Cafê Bar for years and a Bloom's Hotel, named after the hero of 'Ulysses'. You can find a Dylan Thomas pub in Swansea Enterprise Park - a "family pub restaurant" which seems wrong for a man who died after drinking 18 straight whiskies. (" I believe that's a record, " he said, shortly before keeling over. )
But what's this? In the staid Canadian metropolis of Toronto, on the corner of Queen and Leslie, a new bar has opened called Hitch, apparently inspired by Christopher Hitchens, the British-American journalist who died a year ago. He's thought to be an "inspirational figure" there because he drank like a shoal of mackerel. But locals who've written early reviews of the venue also insist he "inspired" the rough country p?tê (representative, apparently, of his "anti-Zionist beliefs" ) and the lamb snacks (" a throwback to his public criticism of Mother Teresa" ). The bar, which features a selection of works by Hitchens, also plans to have a big screen showing TED talks and other intellectual pursuits.
This is ingenious. We look forward to more writer-themed bars in the future: Especially the Hilary Mantel (try the Thomas Cromwell mead and the Henry VIII turkey drumsticks) and the Nick Hornby (check out the bar footy, the capacious jukebox and the wryly self-pitying male clientele). THE INDEPENDENT
Register for Full Access to the Crest Edition
Don't have a Facebook Account? Sign up for Times Crest here.
Subscribe to The Times of India Crest Edition and stay connected with our unequalled network of correspondents, analysts, writers and editors to figure the changes bubbling below the surface of society.