Brixton’s lost Eel And Pie House, Coldharbour Lane SW9

Surviving well into the mid-1990s in Brixton was this Eel & Pie House, located at 426, Coldharbour Lane, SW9.

Serving up plates of cheap and nutritious eels, pie and mash, the shop managed to survive nearly being burnt down in the 1981 Brixton Riots, but finally closed around 1996.

The premises are now used by Gyoza, a Japanese and Chinese restaurant.

Check out the full story here – complete with ‘Then And Now’ photos – or join in the discussion about Brixton’s old Eel & Pie house on our bulletin boards.

21 Comments on “Brixton’s lost Eel And Pie House, Coldharbour Lane SW9”

  1. 1. spelling – built down = burnt down
    2. Thanks for preserving this bit of old Brixton history. I did actually eat there a couple of times. The upstairs dining room was better – more commodious and with a better view – though you had to take the food up there yourself by the time I used the place.
    The tables were marble topped. Broke my heart to see them smashed up in the street when they “renovated” the place.
    3. There is still an eel pie & mash shop in Peckham. I am trying to arrange a lunch there with a Southwark Councillor I am trying to corrupt. I shall be lending him my copy of “Liberator” magazine – the LD answer to the “Militant” newspaper!

  2. the eel & pie shop in coldharbour lane as children we use to stand at the window and watch the eels slithering aroun in a big tray this guy would grab one and chop its head off we would scream and run off with the guy laughing his head off at us seeing the pic of the old shop brought it all back good old days

  3. FROM TORONTO CANADA. I LIVED DOWN THE SREET ON GENEVA ROAD IN 1934/1936.
    IN FACT I WAS MORE THAN LIKLY BORN ON GENEVE ROAD. MAY 1ST 1934.
    ANY WAY I REMEMBER EATING IN THE EEL SHOP MANY TIMES.
    THE LAST TIME I EAT THERE WAS JUNE 1984. ON A TRIP BACK FROM CANADA.
    I LEFT ENGLAND IN 1953 AND THE ELL SHOP HAD NOT CHANGE SINCE THE LAST TIME
    I EAT THERE.

  4. I use to love this pie and mash shop.
    As kids we used to go to the Saterday morning pictures and then go to the pie and mash shop afterwards. It used to cost one shilling and it was “the food of the gods”. Later on my old mate Steve from Tulse hill School managed it, when his dad retired. When I was a bit older’ we use to go round the side and pick our live eel out and Steve would cut it’s head off, gut it and cut it into chunks and weed come back half an hour later to eat a hearty double pie mash, eel’s and liqure. As I say, the food of the gods.
    I still eat it whenever I get the chance, when in London; but’s it not the same as Brixton. My Nan and Grandad used to go in there and then they took my Mum in when she was a young-un and then my Mum would take me in, or leave me outside in my pram (as she likes to tell me!) and I am glad to say that I took my first born son in when he was just a nipper. It always was the dogs! I still miss it.

  5. Always a treat on Saturdays after shopping with my mum, brother, and cousins, and my nan, back in the 1950s. Nan had pie and eels, mum had a pie and mash same us kids. And to this day I can still see her sucking the flesh off of the eel bones with delight – she had no teeth! I’m 70 now and miss the flavour of those pies served with a dollop of mash pasted on the side of the bowl and covered with a liquor made from the water the eels were boiled in to create a parsley sauce. Good job we never knew what went into them I guess. And those cheap alloy forks and spoons were something to wonder at. We could never get in downstairs (always a queue) and had to climb the stairs to the upper restaurant and wait for a table. I ate this food regularly for years, and in my teens always had a double pie and mash every Saturday for many years. I left Brixton in the late 1960s after I got married. Shame Young’s has gone. Even Menzies isn’t a patch on Young’s Pie & Mash

    1. Hi bro, still remember it so so well. of all the other pie n mash shops I tried this was by far the best and I miss it so much. I really wish I could turn back the clock.

  6. Mo
    I was a Policeman in Brixton in 1963 and remember Youngs shop very well. The shop was always busy and as a Bobby I used to go into the back of the shop for a warm especially on those cold Winter days on the beat. I remember Brixton as a friendly place and the market being set up in the streets at 5am. Some stall holders had their premises under the railway arches and there was a buzz about the place all day and evey day.
    But my fondest memories are for Youngs Pie and Mash. ) not to keen on the a Eels)

      1. Jim,
        What is your surname?
        Who did you serve with?
        Do you remember Huw Annersley who became Chief Constable in Northern Ireland?
        Do you also remember Doubledays Pie Factory?
        Maurice

  7. the dolls hospital was a toy shop, and when i was a kid i used to walk from the top end of poplar walk road to the dolls hospital to buy my latest model train stuff!

  8. This shop originally belonged to my great grandfather John (Jack) Young, it was run by my Grandparents Anne & Bert Orrow; Anne is the lady in the photo, just visible in the window.
    The shop relocated to Garratt Lane in Earlsfield, it remained popular at this location until they retired in 1977.
    Unfortunately neither my father or my uncle wanted to take over the business, had they done so I would be proud to be running it now – best food in the world!

    1. Went here every Saturday for pie and mash in the sixties after Saturday morning pictures. Roller skating Tulse Hill in the afternoon then when we got to Fifteen started going to the Ramjam in the evenings. David Bowie used to come in with us as kids among others who grew up to be famous. Legendary place to grow ip in the fifties and sixties. Was born in Vauxhall but spent more time in Brixton. Streatham Locarno was great too.

  9. The younger lady with dark hair serving is Valerie Parker, friend of mine from the Alford House youth club in Kennington late sixties seventies. Roller skating Saturday morning, Pie and mash for dinner, pictures in the afternoon and Jimi Hendrix at the RamJam in the evening. Beat that.

  10. Hi Kathleen I think I was the age as you because I did exactly the same things as you ending my day in the ram jam club since seeing jimi I have been a loyal fan and went out and purchased my fender strat great days loved the eel shop

    1. Sorry I never saw your post til now. Where else did you see Jimi? My friend Susan Cariello and me went to the Isle of Wight in 1970 , did you go. How’s life treated you?

  11. Used to go to the pie and mash shop with my Nan in the 60’s when I was a small child I loved the indoor market especially the haberdashery stall with all the pretty buttons. Woolworths with the peanut machine and the ‘Dolls hospital” Coldharbour lane. Morley’s was a big favourite too, their restaurant always made me a very special rice pudding, great memories.

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