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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was walking up St James's Street with a bottle of milk at 6pm last night when I was overtaken by a fire engine. It stopped just up ahead of me, and for a moment I thought they were going to ask for directions, but no. It turned out that Grubbs Burgers were on fire.

I was the first photographer on the scene, which makes it all the more annoying that I can't take a decent photo to save my life. As the picture above completely fails to show, the shop was actually filled with smoke, but to be honest it's always like that, which is probably why the couple at the door seemed to think they might still be able to get in and order a quarterpounder. The fact that the counter was being manned by a couple of firemen with breathing apparatus didn't seem to put them off. I expect they like their burgers flame-grilled.

Interestingly, Grubbs is only yards away from Love's Fish Restaurant (which was probably forced to serve smoked fish for the rest of the evening), so I suspect it might have been some kind of publicity stunt for tonight's edition of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on Channel 4. I mentioned in July that Gordon was in the neighbourhood, sorting out Kemp Town's culinary catastrophes, and tonight's the night we finally get to see just how bad the local food was before he arrived.

The one noticeable change is that the place is no longer called Ruby Tate's Oyster Bar, with a picture of a crustacean outside which used to make me feel ill every time I walked past. Thanks to Gordon, it's been renamed Love's Fish Restaurant, after the owner Allan Love, and now features a menu board on the street which I have a habit of walking into. Still, rather that than the restaurant.

According to The Argus, "Mr Love has never tasted any of the dishes at the oyster and seafood restaurant because he hates fish". Which is a bit like Paul McCartney opening a butcher's shop. He also claims to be a former actor, but looking at his IMDB page, the man's screen credits appear to consist of one episode of 'Hammer House of Mystery & Suspense' and a small role in 'Pop Pirates', so I not sure Love was much of a luvvie.

In other local thespian news, the BBC have just announced that my ginger neighbour is returning to EastEnders. I'm shocked and stunned. Mainly because Lisa bumped into her around the corner last week and she never said a word. Whatever happened to communities where everyone knows each other's business?