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The Sydney Arms, Chelsea

Regeneration -- the concept presents a veritable dog's breakfast to even the most astute practitioner. The Peer's recent transformation into the newly entitled 'Sydney Arms' provides an engaging illustration of the potential conflict between regeneration and gentrification. On the surface, we see nothing more than an enterprising young businessman pursuing an opportunity to turn a struggling local pub into a thriving (and profitable) brasserie-style venue. But beware a far more sinister danger -- social re-engineering and the destruction of much that our society has come to value.

I for one have already personally enjoyed the benefits of the new venue, finishing a creditable third in their recently initiated regular pub quiz and being rewarded on a somewhat disproportionate scale to say the least. But the reviews herewith stand as a warning that perhaps something has been lost in the transition. Can an innocent pint no longer be snatched amidst post-footy 'steam'? Is the dignified nearby social housing resident doomed never again to sup his chosen drop in a welcoming and wholesome working class environment? One cannot immediately tell with any certainty.

But if I might venture a frank opinion -- and this being a 'review', I fear I might well be expected to do so -- I would suggest that a much more agreeable balance on the spectrum between sincere regeneration and distasteful gentrification has been achieved at the nearby 'Zetland Arms'. You may well come to a similar conclusion at the end of your own personal research endeavours, and I would wholeheartedly implore you to consider the underlying social implications of your choice.

22 Mar 2010 19:55

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ezzboss has been registered on this site since 22nd March 2010