“The stranger will probably be disappointed at his first visit to the Strand,” wrote Charles Dickens in his 1879 Dictionary of London. “And in truth the houses which line it are for the most part unworthy of its position as a portion of the greatest thoroughfare in London.”
Today, while most of the shops, restaurants and great houses that once lined the Strand may have gone, many might still agree with Dickens’ sentiment. The “noble thoroughfare” he hoped the Strand would become, has instead been subsumed by a welter of Pret-a-Mangers and other chain stores.
Salieri, the last family-run restaurant, could soon be forced to move. The owner says the landlord, Aviva Investors, has put the building up for sale. The restaurant, which opened in 1976, has dodged eviction once this year but questions remain over how long it can remain at number 376, The Strand.