In a small victory for the small man, Hackney Council refused permission to turn this fine example of a cloth cap/real fire backstreet boozer into yet more City lofts. New brooms, in the form of the owners of The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, have swept in and after a bit of titivation the glorious old girls future looks rosy. A Tweet sums up the prevailing attitude: Yes, we have our own version of an Aperol Spritz. Its called ale. Two representatives from Camden Hells and Budvar, Macs Gold and Windsor and Eton Republika sit alongside kegs brews from Portobello and Dark Star, various ciders, scrumpy and other lovely ambers; ironically, they even stock big-name Carlsberg, too. Food runs to pork scratchings, hot dogs and salt beef on rye with gherkins. Weekend opening until 2am and live music from a cor blimey! ragbag of troubadours are also part of the plan.