Saturday, July 2, 2011

World Fashion | Shoddy goings on at the Photographer’s Gallery, London?

The Photographers’ Gallery in London has long been one of our favourite haunts in central London but closed last weekend for a lengthy, year-long refurbishment which will see major changes to the building.

Before moving to their current location near Oxford Circus, the Gallery was at Great Newport Street, Leicester Square, and along with the interesting exhibitions, books and magazines on offer, a major attraction was the great cafe inside.

We’ve been going for something like 15 years and – to be honest – at times, the cafe has been the best thing in the place.

Serving up delicious home made cakes (made by the manager’s wife), freshly made sandwiches, snacks and coffee, there’s been a familiar face at the counter for the entire time we’ve been visiting, a lovely fella called Billy.

Kicking out the staff

Sadly it seems that Billy doesn’t figure in the exciting new plans for the Gallery, and after years of service it appears that he’s not been invited back to run the new cafe.

Instead, we’ve been told that it will go to a franchise, and we think that’s rather a shame.

We’ve always liked the friendly, independent atmosphere of the cafe, and feel that without Billy and his cheery staff – and excellent food – we’re not going to find the new premises so attractive.

We wrote to the Photographers’ Gallery a few weeks ago to ask what’s happening about the cafe, but they haven’t bothered to reply, so we can’t confirm the story.

If you’re not happy about seeing the old cafe go, why not drop them a line and implore them to make Billy and his staff part of the new Gallery’s plans?

After all, he’s helped them make the cafe a success for all these years.