Music Bar George IV on Brixton Hill to become Tesco?

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

One of Brixton’s oldest pubs, and celebrated music venue, may close to become a Tesco Express.

Residents living near to the Music Bar George IV received a note last week from the supermarket giant saying it intended to open an Express Store at the site.

The letter, posted by a user on the online Brixton forum Urban 75, said: “The site already has permission for use as a convenience store, but we need to submit applications to the council for minor works.”

The pub is known to many as being the venue for live music and club nights, and served as a launching pad for teen bands to chart-topping groups.

One half of the dance music duo Basement Jaxx, Felix Buxton, has fond memories of putting on nights at the George IV.

He told the Bugle: “I did a lot of Basement Jaxx parties for a few years at the beginning of our genesis and there we developed a lot of our sound and style.

“I remember a friend of mine doing performance art and slow walking across the stage for half an hour, whilst some Brazillian friends were playing percussion and a ragga MC was on the mic. That was a typical Jaxx night.

“We had many amazing times there.”

A bar manager at the pub, who gave his names as CK, said: “I don’t know when we’re closing, all I know is that we’re packing up and getting out.”

The store will have between three and five deliveries per day, and Tesco claims it will create up to 20 jobs.

Chairman of the Brixton Society, Alan Piper, said:  “This trend has been happening along the length of the A23 and it something we deplore, especially for somewhere as old and established as this place.

“The George IV is still active with live music which has been going for years.”

Piper said the pub, although built around 1895, probably got its name from much earlier, when King George IV would have passed by on his way to stay at the Brighton Pavillion.

The local historian added that Tesco may have a tough time getting planning permission.

He said: “Lambeth council has a policy to restrict the change of use of old pubs. So if enough people kick up a stink who knows what might happen.”


  1. Lambeth Council – please do not agree to the planning permission for the Tesco car park. Please don’t let Tesco take over our streets. We need our local pubs and music venues. We have more than enough shops locally.

  2. This is not right. This is an historic music venue and deserves to be saved. We don’t need any more shops. Surely someone can do something to stop this?

  3. Unbelievable, this really can’t go ahead. What the hell does Lambeth council think they’re playing at?! We already have three Sainsbury’s local in Brixton and a large Tescos that’s quite enough homogenisation. Could you please let us know who to write to to complain.

  4. Seriously we do not need a Tescos’ with two Sainsburys’ within ten minutes of each other. What can we do? Who can we direct this at?!

  5. Within a five minute walk there are already two Sainsbury Locals, another Tesco Express and countless small shops.

    why why why why why why why

  6. I don’t think Tesco’s can be totally to blame for this (although we REALLY don’t need another tiny, useless supermarket on the Hill) The owners seem to be a bit TOO willing to give up, sell up and move out. It’s all about the money, clearly, not the ‘community’. Hopefully Lambeth will be able to save the building itself from The Man, but why would we worry about saving the venue in it’s current state? It’s horrible.

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