Brixton’s free-spirited Coldharbour Lane gave us the spark of inspiration to create Coldharbour Lager, a super-refreshing pilsner-style beer with Bohemian origins. Our content series, Characters of Coldharbour Lane, pays tribute to the people along the street.
Jimmy’s Plaice (350 Coldharbour Lane) is a family-run fish & chip shop overlooking the road’s iconic Barrier Block estate. It sells all the deep fried classics you’d expect from a traditional London chippy, and, as we found out when we got talking to owners Raz and Jimmy, has been doing so ever since the 1950s when the shop was first opened by Raz’s father.
Q: How long you been based on Coldharbour Lane?
The shop has been here since the ’50s and was originally owned and run by my dad, so I spent my whole childhood in this area. Our house was a short walk away, and I’d come over here every weekend to help with the deep cleaning. When my dad passed away 30 years ago my husband Jimmy and I took over. He does the cooking and I do the paperwork, deliveries and all that side of things. And the children are involved too. Our girls are at uni now but they come in to help when they can.
There are some people who still come in who knew my dad, but a lot of them are passing away- he would have been in his 80s now.
Q: Do you remember the Barrier Block being built?
No but my dad would have done. There was one builder who would always come in for fish and chips after he’d finished working on the site and he and my dad became lifelong friends.
Q: What kind of changes have you seen taking place in Brixton?
The area has changed a lot since I grew up here. I was here during the riots, but I love Brixton. With people who aren’t from here I always think they just need to come for a tour! There’s respect both ways. If you’re honest and straight up with people they’re the same with you.
Building prices have gone up and that’s good for us. We have noticed a change in the people that come into the shop. But nowhere is ever stagnant and the same for long, is it? Everything changes and we have to change with it. Really the only thing that hasn’t changed is fish and chips!
Portraits from our Characters of Coldharbour Lane series will be on display at the Brixton Brewery Tap Room from 23rd September or you can see them as they drop on Instagram @brixtonbrewery. Look for Coldharbour Lager at bars and bottle shops throughout London and beyond (or shop via our website here). Grab one and take refuge from thirst.