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Pontacks : London coffee houses and taverns

A historical site about early London coffee houses and taverns and will also link to my current pub history site and also the London street directory

PONTACK'S, Abchurch lane.

After the destruction of the White Bear Tavern, in the Great Fire of 1666, the proximity of the site for all purposes of business, induced M. Pontack, the son of the President of Bordeaux, owner of a famous claret district, to establish a tavern, with all the novelties of French cookery, with his father's head as a sign, whence it was popularly called " Pontack's Head." The dinners were from four or five shillings a head " to a guinea, or what sum you pleased."

Swift frequented the tavern, and writes to Stella : —
" Pontack told us, although his wine was so good, he sold it cheaper than others ; he took but seven shillings a flask. Are not these pretty rates ?" In the Hind and Panther Transversed, we read of drawers : —

" Sure these honest fellows have no knack
Of putting off stum'd claret for Pontack."

The Fellows of the Royal Society dined at Pontack's until 1746, when they removed to the Devil Tavern.
There is a Token of the White Bear in the Beaufoy collection ; and Mr. Burn tells us, from Metamorphoses of the Town, a rare tract, 1731, of Pontack' s "guinea ordinary," " ragout of fatted snails," and " chickens not two hours from the shell." In January, 1735, Mrs. Susannah Austin, who lately kept Pontack's, and had acquired a considerable fortune, was married to William Pepys, banker, in Lombard-street.

References :  Lots of references are made to two sources on the internet archive :
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2
My Pub history sites.
Street names index A - Z - this includes the 1832 and 1842 street directory


And Last updated on: Monday, 11-Nov-2019 10:13:09 GMT

What I am now attempting to achieve is the addition of all early coffee houses in London. Also, it is a great place to add any early taverns and inns which I have not yet listed on my pub history site. I just do not know which parish to add them to, or where they fit in.

London pub history directory.

LONDON Pub History

London Street Listings in 1832.

1832 Index

London street listings in 1842

1842 Index

London public houses in 1833 Pigots.

Entire London Street Listing in 1843 - by surname.

London public houses in 1856.

London public houses in 1869.

London 1921 Street directory in 1921

London 1940 Street directory 1940

London Pubs in 2018