The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pete’s Mini Bar, Putney

Pete’s Mini Bar
118 Upper Richmond Rd
SW15 2SP

by Nelson Griddle

Putney is, without question, my least favourite district of London.

It’s inhabitants seem mostly to comprise of unfeasibly tall blonde women in padded waistcoats who spend the day trolleying their offspring around in prams only slightly smaller than the ludicrous 4-by-4s they drive. Around them are towering glassy yuppie flats and twee overpriced semis, and with a high street selling little more than frothy coffee, trinkets and tat, the whole place resembles nothing so much as an outsized branch of Accessorize.

What an oasis of peace and sanity, then, is Pete’s Mini Bar on the Upper Richmond Road. Pete’s is a cosy, old-fashioned greasy spoon. The eponymous owner is a cheerful Cockney who runs what would in a more exalted establishment be called “front of house”, while his lovely assistant Edna cooks up the breakfasts.

Everything about Pete’s is reassuring, from the long and tea-coloured interior, decorated by an aged painting of the Hammersmith Bridge, to a menu that is resolutely no-frills.

Pete’s does not seek to dazzle or intimidate. About the most complicated item available is a chicken sandwich. Egg, bacon, sausage, tomato, chips, black pudding with two slices of toast and coffee is my usual choice. Liver and bacon is another winner.

The only thing you should definitely give a miss is the basement room, which is dank, cold, and somewhat reminiscent of a scene from the League of Gentlemen.

My own association with Pete’s is longstanding. And when I was last in Putney (to file for divorce from the acrimonious Mrs Griddle at Wandsworth County Court) it was straight to Pete’s that I headed.

Long may Pete and Edna reign on the Upper Richmond Road!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nulpoints for any brekkie that includes chips in my book. what's wrong with hash browns or fried toast?

12:06 PM, March 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chips are the breakfast food of the Gods.

4:38 PM, March 20, 2008  
Blogger Tiki Chris said...

Londonist featured your post in this month's London Food Blog Round-Up:

9:17 AM, March 31, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Pete's Mini Bar is as much part of Putney as the Boat Race! I have been popping in for a late lunch sandwich or cooked meal for over thirty years and here we are near the end of 2013 and Pete's is still going strong -same as the tea and coffee! Full of authentic 1960s formica and first
rate cafe food. Nothing fake retro here, it is all the real deal - but with plenty of fresh ingredients and tip top hygiene(cabinets might look a bit tired but cleaned and polished, inside and out,every day - I am a late diner so I see it all happening at 3.30pm ish)Best breakfast with black pudding South of wherever you can think of! Pete is Italian, the godfather of the establishment, ably assisted by the always smiling Luke, Pete's son in law - married to the delightful Louise(Fridays only) - and sometimes others of Pete's typically Italian extended family of sons et al and of course Edna
who knows her way round a "full English" like no other!). Get up to date by getting back to the Putney of the past when service on the "parade" at the East Putney section of the Upper Richmond Rd meant caring for your regulars and every visitor who might become one! Best wishes Sam Weller

4:07 PM, December 12, 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

My grandad Chris and grandma Angela owned and ran the MiniBar before Pete - I remember he used the downstairs as a storeroom and it was damp then! It's nice to see it looks the same on the inside as I remember it.

1:31 AM, January 31, 2014  

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