The demise of Mr Jacks in St James's Street was not lamented in many quarters, I suspect. Sold at auction, the former Co-op (there is still a sign painted on the Frederic Street wall extolling the London Co-op, allegedly 'owned and controlled by its members' before being shut down eons ago) has reopenned as 'Castelul Dracula' a Romanian restaurant .
The sign over the door now has a suitable dark ramshackleness about it, possibly evocative of the fifteenth century Wallachia from which the legendary Vlad the Impaler on which the folk tales plundered for Bram Stoker's work hailed. The background is an uneven hand-painted black and the lettering is in a disorderly Gothic white. The untranslated word 'Romanesc' comes after the word 'restaurant' which suggests that they may not be interested in non-Romanian clientelle, but one never knows. While a tricolour to the right of the gothic lettering on the sign suggests a certain East Eoropean patriotism by the people running the place, the choice as the national colours of Red, Dayglo and Blue (in that order, rather than the other, more traditional, way round) may be a sign of some intention not to reserve the place pridefully for any passing hungry Romanians who care how their national flag is to be accurately portrayed to the British public.
The view inside is generally obscured by the blue curtains over the windows. It can be seen on squinting through the smoked glass of the front door (a hang-over from Mr Jacks day) that the table napiery is mainly blue to match the curtains. A feature of the windows, which is inexplicable, but may as well be mentioned, is the way these have both been partitioned into four sections. The right window has an additional feature of four irregular hexagons in each of the four glass sections. Why these are there and why they are absent from the left window is anyone's guess.
Internally, the central area is still dominated by the long, slightly too low bar which failed to attract the profitable custom which might have kept Mr Jacks open if anyone had wanted that, while the rear of the place is home to a massive TV screen if anyone had been wondering what the potential atmosphere in the restaurant might be like. There is no menu on display in the window, just some posters of a castle. The shutters are green.
To the right of Alpha Radio.