‘Bar Italia’ – Pulp (1995)
Home of London’s best post-club espresso
Younger readers may find it hard to wrap their heads around this pre-24-hour-licensing tale of a night spent clubbing 'up west' (when the West End had clubs), which ends with the narrator people-watching and waiting for the drugs to wear off in the iconic Old Compton St cafe of the title. That was what they did in the 1990s, kids.
‘You can't go home and go to bed, because it hasn't worn off yet, and now it's morning; there's only one place we can go, it's around the corner in Soho, where other broken people go.’ The Frith Street institution that’s been dispensing caffeine to the city’s lost souls and night owls for decades gets its time in the pop spotlight thanks to Jarvis Cocker, who clearly spent a lot of time there when he was at St Martins College nearby. ‘If you can make an order could you get me one?’ he asks. ‘Two sugars would be great, ’cos I'm fading fast and it's nearly dawn.’