This Friday marks the last chance for the public to object to plans to demolish popular Hoxton bar The Foundry.
Hackney Council have offered a two-week period for residents to lodge their opinions about the proposed 18-storey cylindrical hotel, which will sit on the junction of Great Eastern Street with Old Street, on the site of shabby chic bar-cum-art-gallery, The Foundry.
The plans – lodged by multi-billionaires the Reuben Brothers, who own the building – have prompted several campaigns to save the bar, which still offers drinks at the rare price of £2.50 a pint as well as showcasing the work of local artists and musicians.
The project has been criticised by conservation adviser for the Victorian Society, Heloise Brown, who said the hotel would be inappropriate to the area. “The proposed tower has more in common with the commercial buildings further west on Old Street, than with its immediate neighbours in Shoreditch,” she said.
A Facebook group of nearly 3,000 members has also been set up under the name, ‘Save the Foundry Campaign’. One member, Alicia Montoya, wrote yesterday that the bar was one of the few remaining enclaves of avant-garde art and, more importantly, a place that always feels like home.
Manager of The Foundry Jonathan Moberly would not reveal what he thought of the new building plans themselves, but said: “We’ve always known that something would happen. [The Reuben Brothers] are property developers; that’s what they do.”
Mr Moberly said that rather than fighting the change, he is now concentrating his efforts on relocating The Foundry to a site nearby. “I think that would be more positive”, he said.