CAMPAIGN: No Tesco at Music Bar George IV, Brixton Hill

TIME AT THE MUSIC BAR: Tesco say they intend to turn the George IV into a store

The Brixton Blog is supporting a petition urging Lambeth council to step in and help save a historic pub.

It emerged last week that the supermarket giant Tesco wants to open a small ‘Express’ store on the site of Music Bar George IV, Brixton Hill, marking an end to years of live music at the site.

The news has attracted a number of comments from Brixton Blog readers who feel unhappy at the prospect of yet another small supermarket on Brixton Road.



The petition, which has already attracted 346 signatories, says the following:

“We are opposed to the George IV pub (currently known as Music Bar) on Brixton Hill becoming a Tesco. We don’t want to lose another pub and we are concerned at the negative impact on local businesses.

“We call on the council to work with us to find a way to save this historic music venue, and to oppose further supermarket expansion in Brixton.”


  1. Boycott Brixton Acre Lane

    I’ve just returned from the ‘Stop Tesco Express Brixton Hill’ meeting at Corpus Christi Community Hall (Friday 14th). When asked in a show of hands, almost everyone there was honest enough to admit to our MP that despite being anti-Tesco they already shop at Tesco Acre Lane. To those, and to all those who signed the petition against the opening of the Tesco Express, can I suggest that you vote with you feet and your pockets, cut up your Tesco points card and not shop at Tesco Acre Lane anymore. We have a choice. For example there is a Lidl a bit further along Acre Lane. (I’ve been doing my weekly shop for years and it’s much better value for money than Tesco Acre Lane).

    Anything you can’t buy at Lidl can be bought at our local independent stores. Also, many of the [sadly only] 150 people at the meeting didn’t even seem to be aware that there are, not one but 2, convenience stores, a men’s hairdresser, Post Office (with free to use cash machine) launderette, art shop and The Elm traditional pub at Elm Park Parade- half way along Elm Park at the top of Leander Road – just 500 yards from where the Tesco Express will be.

  2. Agree with pevious. Hands up — who’s used the Music Bar once or on a regular basis even? Tesco isn’t great, but it could be worse. The Telegraph Pub on Streatham Hill is now one of those American 7th Day Adventist churches preaching hardline doomsday doctrine.

    The meeting on Friday is about whether Tesco can put a car park at the front or not. Some people seem to be under the impression that Tesco is going to knock down the whole building. They can’t. Lambeth Council can’t stop Tesco from opening there as the property licence isn’t changing. It’s a commercial property already.

  3. I totally agree with the first comment, if locals really did supprt the venue then it would not be selling up. This petition seems like sheer hypocrisy to me, though I don’t like being so harsh with words, and not pointing finger at anyone in particular. The fact is the businesses have not been viable, and the pub tried to be a trendy bar, dance bar, now music bar etc etc, none of them worked because no one supported the real needs of the business. Now it has been recently closed after struggling again to attract enough custom. So why all the fuss about a Tesco? There did not seem to be much of a fuss when the Telegraph too wilted away only to become a tatty shell of a building for a particular type of religeous faithful. Is that what is wanted in terms of a fate for the George 1V also?. Well I would not mind betting that if Tesco go ahead, their doors will be swinging open far more frequently with clientelle than the previous encarnations of bar. Let’s face it, it has been quite a while since the George 1V was a cosy pub of any sorts. I have no bone to pick with Tesco, and I support business, and my guess is that far more locals will use the services of Tesco, so everyone with a real stake in this wins.

  4. I live fairly close to the pub and pass it daily. Much as I hate the idea of and ugly Tesco taking another spot, I can’t help but think that this is a bar that is in the main pretty empty and unsupported by locals (regardless of the past history of the venue).

    The bar seems to try new ways to get people in from time to time (salsa, BBQs etc) but there’s never a huge trade and every time I’ve been there it’s been quiet and not that firendly. If locals are not supporting the venues and venues are not giving locals what they want, then it’s to be expected that owners will look elsewhere.

  5. You need to get the planning details and write something on there. As its a change of use the public can make comments. If they have more than 5 objections (normally anyway) it has to go to planning committee. That’s where a petition will be at its strongest.

    For campaigning purposes has got a wealth of information gathered by anti-Tesco campaigners.

  6. It’s almost certain the pub is owned by a tied pub company such as Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns or Scottish & Newcastle who will have put the rent and supply prices up to levels that take all profit out of the pub and make the Lessee’s business not viable. This process of financial attrition is being applied to pubs all over the UK which is why they’re being boarded up or sold off as supermarkets, bookies, fast food outlets or just ‘suitable for alternative use; subject to planning’.

    What’s happening to pubs all over the UK is a national disgrace, a scandal and nothing less than a Cultural Crime.

  7. Why is the current proprietor looking to get out – I’m asking a genuine question here – is this not a successful/regularly busy venue?

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