London is home to some of the oldest and best pubs in the world. Some are historic, steeped in tradition, while others put on popular gay nights or serve locally made beers. And at the heart of what makes them worth visiting is their staff – the bar men and women who pull pints, keep locals entertained and often become to be like the closest of families.
Inspired by the 18th century conversation piece and the traditional family portrait, photographer Jan Klos presents Pubs of London, a new series of striking group portraits that introduce viewers to the colourful and dedicated teams behind some of London’s much-loved watering holes.
From The Pub on the Park and The George Tavern, to Wilton’s and the Royal Oak, the exhibition is a lively tour of the places and faces that make London’s pubs the finest to visit for a friendly pint, a mid-week dance or even a jellied eel!
Since 2008 one in five pubs in the UK have closed in the face of a struggling economy, rising alcohol taxes and smoke-free policies. The Times labeled them an ‘Endangered British Species’ and London has seen its share of public houses shut their doors for good. Some of them, including The Nelson’s Head and The Joiner’s Arms feature in this series. Pubs of East London serves to celebrate and raise a glass to London’s public houses and the ‘families’ in them, but it is also a timely record of what the city has lost in recent years.