The Chelsea Society has helped save another pub – or rather a former pub – The Water Rat – which was converted in 2004 to an Italian restaurant – Osteria dell’Arancio.
Built in 1832, it was originally called “The Globe”. The Water Rat was the place to be during the King’s Road’s punk period, the others being the Roebuck and the Man in the Moon – all gone. The Water Rat was the site of the launch party of the remastered Stranglers debut studio album “Rattus Norvegicus” in 2001.
The Osteria dell’Arancio closed recently and a planning application was made to turn it into a house – just like the Cross Keys and the Phene. Now that the Council has a strong policy to protect community facilities refusing the proposed change of use was a formality. The building has a very prominent position on the “bend” in King’s Road and has always contributed to liveliness of the neighbourhood.