Gordon’s: a family business

By Marleen de Rooy

The current manager of Gordon’s wine bar, Gerard,  gives a little French touch to the place. He joined the bar 11 years ago. Over the past sixty years Gordon’s wine Bar used to be a private gentlemen’s club. But the last ten years, English people started more and more to enjoy good wines- their popularity grew.

Gerard tells Traditional London a little bit about the history of the bar:

Site of the Building ( Source photo Gordon's winebar archive)

Site of the Building ( Source photo Gordon's winebar archive)

For those interested in history, the building in which the bar is situated was home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s and more recently (1820) by Minier & Fair, a firm of seedsmen who used it as a warehouse. This came to an abrupt end when, in 1864, the river was embanked and the warehouse landlocked, following which it was turned into accommodation and Gordons wine bar began its life. Rudyard Kipling lived in the building in the 1890s as a tenant and famously wrote “The light that failed” in the parlour above the bar, the building is now named Kipling House. Arthur Gordon who set up the bar in 1890 was one of the few remaining “free vintners” who were able to set up and sell wine anywhere without applying for a license as a result of Edward III’s Charter to them in 1364 – granted as a result of his financial embarrassment at being unable to repay a loan made by the Vintners to him some years earlier! The current Gordon family who own the bar are not actually related to Arthur Gordon but it was a happy coincidence that Luis Gordon discovered the bar and took it over in 1975 so was able to maintain the Gordon name.

Gordon Family ( Source photo Gordon's winebar archive)


Gordon’s wine Bar is very much a family affair. It is currently owned by Wendy Gordon who is the wife of Luis Gordon. He passed away in 2002.  Now the bar is in hands of Luis’eldest son Simon.

Marleen de Rooy

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Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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