: Snack Bar, Brooks Mews W1 #1

Enclaves of the 50s & 60s


"We're from the south of Italy: 30 miles north of Naples. We came over on the visas in the 50s. Italy was in a terrible state after the war, financially ruined. Took years to recover. People wanted a better future for their children. But our parents weren't ambitious in life, never bought a house in England, they were very plain. I wanted to expand and make a bit more. I wanted to be my own boss and give it a go. When I was a kid I used to work in the Regent Milk Bar (my brother Giovanni used to work there too). Basil Albert was the owner of the Regent. Italian Brazilian he was. I was the Sunday tea boy; Sunday washer up. This was in 1976. £3.00 a day, cleaning up the tables. I was about ten..."

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