Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

It was a pub with a rich Afro-Caribbean heritage from the 1950s, and before that strong connections to the Edwardian music hall, but The Angel on  Coldharbour Lane, Brixton has now been lost to the inevitable upmarket housing development.

Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

Bought up by the grasping property empire that is Lexadon, the former pub in a “vibrant location” will be converted into “three mews houses, five high-specification apartments and one commercial space.”

Prices will, no doubt, be far out of reach for most locals.

Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

The old mews have been knocked down (above) and here’s the artist’s impression of what will replace it (below).

Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton


The old bar entrance. The saloon bar entrance was to the right on Coldharbour Lane.

The pub was once owned by the late Victorian/early Edwardian music hall performers, The Royal Zanettos.

Brixton history - looking west along Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9, Lambeth, London 1958 and 2012

How the Angel looked in Edwardian days when the Zanettos were in town (you can just see their name above the entrance). See more archive info here.

Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton

Work starts on the inevitable mansard-style roof extension.

The Angel
354 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8QH [Map]
History of the Angel Pub
Lost pubs of Brixton
The Angel and The Zanettos
urban75 discussion on the Angel pub [2006-present day]

18 Comments on “Goodbye to the Angel pub, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton”

  1. I’m the “Zanettos” descendant mentioned on this post ( and would like to know how I could share this information with other family members please.
    Although I have to say thanks for publishing it, it still makes miserable reading, not just because of sentimental nostalgia but also because it is so symbolic of our money-grabbing times …

  2. What do you people expect? for it to be mews houses run down just sitting there! The whole story is rubbish! it may even still be a pub after its finished! get with the times oldies?

  3. My understanding is that the ‘pub’ aspect will remain. In fact I am one of the parties who has offered to rent the place out, but have been treated with contempt by Lexadon, who didnt even bother to turn down or respond in any way to an offer when there was little interest last year, before then going to best and final bids, for which we are STILL waiting to hear a decision several months later. It could have been occupied 6 months ago, at this rate it could be many months before it is.

  4. Except that now that it’s surrounded by residential housing it’ll be almost impossible for a pub to exist.

    The exact same thing happened to the Warrior/Junction in Loughborough Junction where the ‘pub’ part remained empty for year and years until Tesco moved in:

    I wish it would happen but I would be absolutely amazed if anything resembling a regular pub opened up in that space.

  5. As always the property development companies and/or breweries get ALL the blame for the closure of this and every other pub in the country.The fact is that society has moved on from this form of Victorian entertainment.Drinking over-priced alcohol in crowded, noisy environments may just have had its heyday.If pubs were so great they wouldn’t they be opening rather than closing in ever greater numbers? The aggressive “northern hemisphere” drinking habits of many British certainly doesn’t help matter – ever been out on a friday or saturday night in any town in the UK? – my point exactly!

  6. Yes Guy is entirely wrong to blame the property developers for stopping work for months (the property was supposed to be lettable in JAN 2013), allowing the property to sit empty for months and months when there are interested parties, ignoring offers, stringing people along etc etc. You may not like pubs in your old age but alot of people do, and there are places that arent just full of noisy chavs if you can be bothered to find them!

  7. I notice that you have not exactly challenged my point on whether pubs (whose peak mirror the growth of factories in the industrial revolution) might have had their day and that whether in many (not all cases) the property development companies merely redevelop pubs which were heading to economic oblivion anyway.I cannot comment specifically on the pub above so I am not in a position to comment on why work stopped for months at the start of this year (neither can you I suspect).Perhaps you are a bit more sophisticated lot in London: Bristol like most of the provinces is very much in the dark ages when it comes to social drinking: “poor” students drinking £3.80 pints,lonely middle aged men getting away from “the wife” and pissed up cider drinking adolescents shouting abuse at passers-by.

  8. Guy – I don’t think you know much about the area. Far from ‘having their day,’ Brixton’s pubs and clubs are enjoying a boom. The night economy is thriving.

    Take a short walk up the road and you’ll see queues stretching 200m on the weekend to get into the Dogstar bar.

    It’s the same story at other pubs further long the the road, and the bar and restaurant right next to the Angel (My Father’s Place/Majestic) are enjoying really good business.

    Granted, the pub couldn’t have carried on as it was, but with a bit of imagination, investment and help, there was every chance it could have carried on serving the local community.

    Unfortunately, most developers are only interested in swift, short term returns, and while their profits may soar nicely, the community has lost a valuable asset forever.

  9. I am Tony Waller daughter and it was great to see my father’s time at the Angel acknowledge I have many fond childhood memories of the pub, it’s customers and the sounds and smells of the Caribbean life in the 1970s

    Alestir Waller

    1. Hello Alestir,

      I’m happy to read your note, I just came back from a visit to Brixton and saw the building and the Brixton people. I would love to find out more about the family history and any photos you may have from the old days and Uncle Tony. Our family has not been in touch with each other in some time.

      Jeffrey Green, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  10. dear editor your comments about the angel pub says everything that the folk of Brixton feel about this money grabbing vermin who couldent give a toss about the history of Brixton and its community

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