The building that was formerly Frying Pan pub stands at the junction of Thrawl Street and Brick Lane, and, although the present building dates only from the early 1890s, records show that there has been a pub on this site since at least 1811.
Thrawl Street was one of the notorious East End thoroughfares that made up what was often referred to as the “evil” or “wicked quarter mile” – and, since its clientele was largely drawn from this infamous enclave, the Frying Pan was anything but a salubrious hostelry, being frequented by the villains, ne’er-do-wells, and prostitutes who inhabited the common lodging houses for which the adjoining vicinity was renowned in the latter half of the 19th century.
THE FRYING PAN PUB
The Frying Pan pub turned up every now and then in the Victorian newspapers.
In 1844, Alfred Mathews, the gaolor at the Mansion House, was prosecuted for obtaining money under false pretenses from the then landlord Charles Vanderstein, when he represented himself as a turnkey at Ilford House of Correction.
DEATH OF THE LANDLORD AND A ROBBERY
In January 1849, Charles Vanderstein, who was then aged 66, died from injuries he sustained when he crashed through a second-floor window whilst sleepwalking in the early hours of a morning.
In 1862 five men and two women were charged with stealing a bag of money and some possession valued at more than £500 from its then landlord James Hing.
THE FRYING PAN IN 1888
In 1888, the year that the Whitechapel murders began, the landlord was William Farrow, and he may well have served some of the last drinks consumed by Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Nichols, who was seen leaving the pub at around 12.30 a.m.
This was one of the last sightings of her prior to the discovery of her body in Buck’s Row at around 3.40 a.m. that morning.
THE PUB’S LAST YEARS
The pub underwent considerable remodeling in 1966, and, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was very much a locals pub, frequented largely by the more “senior” members of the community, many of whom had grown up and lived in the area for years.
In 1991, the pub closed its doors for the last time and was then converted into an Indian restaurant – The Sheraz.
This later changed its name to the Shaad, the name that still adorns the exterior of the building today, albeit the restaurant itself closed its doors several years ago.
THE NAME CAN STILL BE SEEN
Although the building ceased to trade as a pub in the early 1990s, a vestige of its former incarnation can be observed on its brick gable – for there, in terra cotta relief can be seen two crossed Frying Pans and above them is still emblazoned the buildings original name – Ye Olde Frying Pan.
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