Skip to content

Passing Trade

October 5, 2016
by the gentle author

In recent years, Contributing Artist Eleanor Crow has been drawing and painting East End shopfronts and cafes, and an exhibition of one hundred of these watercolours entitled PASSING TRADE opens this Friday 7th October at Walthamstow Village Window Gallery, 47 Orford Rd, E17 9NJ. The gallery is a former ironmonger’s shopfront with all artwork visible through the window seven days a week.

Syd’s Coffee Stall, Shoreditch High St

Eleanor Crow made this set of watercolour portraits of cafes as a tribute to those cherished institutions which incarnate the essence of civility in the East End. “It’s because they’re individual concerns, often owned by families across generations who get to know all their customers,” admitted Eleanor, revealing the source of her devotion to cafe culture ,“I like the frontages because each is designed uniquely for that café with wonderful sign-writing or lettering and eye-catching colours. Some of these cafés have been here for a very long time and everyone in the area is familiar with them, and is very fond of them. They make the streets into a better place and are landmarks upon the landscape of the East End.”

.

.

E. Pellicci, Bethnal Green Rd

.

.

Savoy, Norton Folgate

.

.

Time for Tea, Shoreditch High St (Gone but not forgotten)

.

.

Dalston Lane Cafe

.

.

Paga Cafe, Lea Bridge Rd

.

.

Lennies Snack Bar, Calvert Avenue (Gone but not forgotten)

.

.

Marina Cafe, Mare St

.

.

Kingsland Cafe, Kingsland Rd

.

.

Grab & Go, Blackhorse Lane

.

.

Gina’s Restaurant, Bethnal Green Rd

.

.

Copper Grill, Eldon St

.

.

Billy Bunter’s Snack Bar, Mile End Rd (Gone but not forgotten)

.

.

Beppe’s Cafe, West Smithfield

.

.

B.B. Cafe, Lea Bridge Rd

.

.

Savoy Cafe, Graham Rd

.

.

A.Gold, Brushfield St

.

.

Arthur’s Cafe, Kingsland Rd

.

.

Cafe Bliss, Dalston Lane

.

.

Cafe Rodi, Blackhorse Lane

.

Rossi Restaurant, Hanbury St  (Gone but not forgotten)

Eleanor Crow at E.Pellicci

Drawings copyright © Eleanor Crow

Portrait copyright © Estate of Colin O’Brien

You may also like to see Eleanor Crow’s other East End shopfronts

Eleanor Crow’s East End Ironmongers

Eleanor Crow’s East End Bakers

Eleanor Crow’s East End Fish Shops

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Lee permalink
    October 5, 2016

    I was saddened too see Billy Bunters cafe Mile End rd has gone we stopped there many anight when I worked nights on the railway some years back. Ow do you know when and why it went thanks lee

  2. October 5, 2016

    I can actually smell the lovely, steamy waft of cooked breakfasts and chips!

  3. Greg Tingey permalink
    October 5, 2016

    “A former Ironmonger’s shop”
    “Isons” – I remember Frank Ison, always wearing a brown store-coat.
    Where to go if you wanted paraffin for your heaters in the pre-central-heating days of the 1950′s.
    And all sorts of other useful stuff.
    My potato-peeler came out of Isons, many, many years ago.

  4. October 5, 2016

    The ‘passing trade’ caught in these marvelous watercolours may soon disappear. Eleanour’s work captures part of the colour and culture of the East End with great affection and sensitivity.

  5. Iain chambers permalink
    October 5, 2016

    Beautiful pictures, really vivid colours

  6. October 5, 2016

    This series tugged at my heart. I grew up in a town in Western Pennsylvania that has totally disappeared due to an onslaught of drugs and accompanying misery. But, in my mind, I still see
    the storefronts, signage, friendly sales help, a newsstand/tobacco shop, small family-style restaurants serving comfort food, two bakeries and (goodness!) a ladies hat shop. After school, the familiar cry was “Meet you at Harvey’s”……a corner dinette serving the local specialty “Forty With”. (a plate of French fries with gravy). Looking at Eleanour’s work, I am grateful for her dedication, preservation, and skill at capturing an earlier time — and awakening my own fond memories of a long-lost place. Thank you.

  7. Ros permalink
    October 5, 2016

    Very good to see these fresh and vivid watercolours again. Also very sad to see how many of these cafes, which I agree are the essence of civility, have closed in the 3 years since you last featured them.

  8. Linda Hayes permalink
    October 5, 2016

    Rossi Restaurant was originally Jacks Cafe which opened with fresh food at 5am ready for the porters of spitalfields mkt . My parents Jack and Glen work extremely hard in that cafe to keep high standards for there customers both the mkt boys and then the office workers at midday .
    Unfortunately Jack my dad pass away 11 yrs ago. But Mum is 94yrs old and still a beautiful
    Lady

  9. Peter Bailey permalink
    October 5, 2016

    Lovely to see Eleanor’s caff pictures. I wish I could see the show. Thanks for showing them.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS