A pub made famous for a brutal shooting by notorious London gangster, Ronnie Kray, is on its knees after the Tier 4 announcement.
The Blind Beggar, in Whitechapel Road, Shadwell, which was built in 1894, has a long and eventful history but the pandemic may prove to be the final nail in its coffin.
According to The Blind Beggar lore, in 1966 East London gangster Ronnie Kray and an associate approached a rival, Georgie Cornell, in the pub who is believed to have smiled and said: “Well, just look who’s here.”
Kray was said to have walked towards Cornell with a 9mm Luger, and calmly shot him once in the forehead, just above his right eye.
Kray was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death in 1995.
Now The Blind Beggar is on its last legs and the owner is living in uncertainty as he hopes help will arrive from the Government.
“It’s a case of survival of the richest,” said David Dobson, current owner of The Blind Beggar. “If we can get through and reopen in January we have a chance.
“But we’ll be reopening to a less busy period in January. I’m feeling very despondent.
“It’s difficult to find help at the moment and we keep hitting many brick walls.”
Since the pandemic began David has kept every staff member employed and paid their wages, even when the pub could not open.
“I tried to help them [staff] out,” said David. “I said what I’ve got in the bank I’ll pay as best I can. This was before the furlough scheme which took a long time.”
David added: “It’s all a terrible shame. It’s going to destroy pubs as we know them. The days of drinking tequila and falling off the end of the bar are over.”
Gerard Nenan, the general manager of the pub, said all the staff were worried.
“We’re not getting any help from the government,” said Gerard. “Businesses need much more help paying their rent.
“We open and close. Switch on and switch off with different rules. It all costs money. I’m very stressed and depressed.”
The Blind Beggar say they are unable to provide a takeaway service as it is “not financially viable” and will have to wait until Tier 4 restrictions are lifted.