John's: Fitzrovian oldtimers taking Mortimer Street by storm

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Initially, John's seems like just another Soho-fringes sandwich bar, but look in closer...

The frontage is unaltered and cheerfully outdated, the window menus look good, the sign's inviting and the interior is right on the button: clusters of brown booth seats, unusual acid-etched grey pattern counter, and cream n' brown wall coverings...

Also, the owners are quite exceptionally polite and pleasant (John is the amiable plump looking fella), thus ensuring a constant roll-up of fans from all round North of Oxford Street.

For caff anoraks, John's also boasts the very same elegant cup n' saucer sets used by the mighty Alpino in Islington (except in pistachio rather than dark plum). A major plus point.

Cute as a nut. The last time we were there, Noel Gallagher looked in whilst trying to escape an MTV Oasis special being shot round the corner at the Berners Hotel (a place which has all the visual charm of a Jamiroquai video filmed by Stanley Kubrick).

John's is a welcome, compact little enclave in an interesting area well away from the main tourist drag. Says longtime John's attendee David Fogarty:

"John's has been here (opposite Middlesex Hospital) as long as I can remember. It has seen off many a pretender on the corner of Mortimer Street.

Check out the two helpers' chat-ups when you get in there: 'Whatta you wan' blondie' is one of their many gems.

Other 'comic' classics include (and I've heard this in many Italian cafes) '£5 cash for the full English'.

It's bloody marvelous that John's has stayed the course; nearby Charlotte Street is full of wanky Starbucks, and Soup Kitchens frequented by twat media types gabbing into their Nokias.

You really do lose the will to live when you see what they are doing to Fitzrovia. The late Julian Macclaren-Ross would be spiralling down to the Antipodies if he knew."

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