May 11, 2018
Another city stalwart famed for its packed tables of chess-playing regulars. In plan, it’s a large, square hall with a long bar down one side, waiters bring drinks to the tables and often take a moment or two watch to watch the games. So make sure your Sicilian defence is up to scratch. One name which will be known to the devotees of chess amounts you is that of bobby Fisher-just one of a long list of grand master who have played the game here. Apropos of nothing, the great Surrealist Rene Magritte tried to hawk his paintings here in the 1920s.There is no music (which in fact is something of blessing since a) it can distract and b) stifle conversation Despite the presence of one or two octogenarians, the young and the beautiful still drawn here and we are happy to report get on famously with older patrons. It does doesn’t exactly have a buzz as such but when there’s a Titantic battle of wits unfolding the atmosphere is charged with a certain tension, particularly when you hear cries of “échec et mat.” . Contrary to what one might expect, prices are not steep.Cocktails are conspicuous by their absence, but it is no great hardship. Instead, drinks run to beers, (all of which are Belgian) shorts and coffees and we have to confess we don’t know why it’s called Greenwich. One of its chief points of interests is its utterly charming Art Nouveau decor. It has the unmistakable patina of age. Thank goodness young owner, Nicolas Paneritis, has vowed never to modernise the bar.