Brick Lane

Category: Markets

Brick Lane is a street in the East End of London and heart of the city’s Bangladeshi community. The area has now become known as Banglatown. As a community it has been the first destination of a number of previous waves of migrants, also being the former heart of the city’s Jewish community, and before that, of its Huguenot community.

There is also a Sunday market at Brick Lane, which like the one nearby at Petticoat Lane, dates from when it was a Jewish community.

In the 20th century the Brick Lane area was important in the second wave of development of Anglo-Indian cuisine, as families from countries such as Bangladesh (mainly the Greater Sylhet region) migrated to London to look for work. The curry houses of Brick Lane are known for their cheap and cheerful food, and for allowing customers to bring their own beer (often the curry house itself will not sell alcohol as most are run by Muslims). More recently the area has also broadened to being a vibrant art and fashion student area, with considerable exhibition space. Each year most of the fine art and fashion courses exhibit their work near Brick Lane.

It has also been, since the late 1990s, the site of several of the city’s best known night clubs, notably 93 Feet East and The Vibe Bar, both built on the site of The Old Truman Brewery, once the industrial centre of the area, now an office and entertainment complex.

Since 1999, the UK’s leading showroom and store for young and independent designers, The Laden Showroom, has been located at number 103. Next door at number 101 is Rokit, London’s leading vintage clothing store. Brick Lane also hosts several fashion designer sales and fashion shows during London Fashion Week. It is also home to one of the few remaining independent bookshops, Eastside Books, which specialises in local history.

Nearby buildings of interest include Christ Church, Spitalfields, The Jamme Masjid or Great London Mosque on the corner of Fournier Street, and the head office of Habitat on Princelet Street.

The lane was used as the setting for The Killers video for “All These Things That I’ve Done”.


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