Drummond Street, NW1

Drummond Street, west of Euston Station, seems like an unassuming stretch of townhouses, flats, restaurants and shops.

Look closer – almost every store and restaurant is South Asian. Menus feature Mumbai-style street food, Lahori lamb kebabs and South Indian masala dosa.

The 1970s witnessed an arrival of East African Asians in the UK. Drummond Street became a taste of home to London’s South Asian community because of a growing presence of family-run cafes and stores.

Diwana Bhel Poori House – which opened in 1970 – claims to be the oldest South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Britain.

Drummond Street had begun some 150 years before. The leasing of land locally for house building was handled by John and Charles Drummond, who were bankers, and hence the name. The area was laid out from the mid-1820s onwards on formerly agricultural land. Three squares were planned as markets for the sale of, respectively, hay, vegetables and meat. Only Cumberland Market – the hay and straw market – served its intended purpose to supersede the original function of the West End’s Haymarket.

Drummond Street used to be much longer, continuing through what is now Euston station and then what is now called Doric Way. On Drummond Street was the main entrance to the station – the Euston Arch.

The eastern part of Drummond Street disappeared when Euston station was rebuilt and extended in 1961.

The Regent’s Park Estate redevelopment removed Osnaburgh Street – a route connecting three Nash Squares.

Along with the restaurants, notable is the Crown and Anchor – a Grade II listed public house at 137 Drummond Street.

In June 2021, an enterprise called the Drummond Streatery project was launched to help revive the street’s restaurant trade after the disruption caused by the pandemic and HS2 engineering works. The project was a collaboration between Camden Borough and a local business with the involvement of local traders.

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