If you had been making your way along Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park early in the twentieth century you would have noticed a large Union Jack flying over a restaurant sandwiched between the entrance to Finsbury Park and the London Hippodrome cinema.
Advert in Hornsey Journal 18 July 1896 (from the original held in the archives of the Hornsey Historical Society)
An article published in History Today traces the progress of Pietro Pazzi who emigrated from Italian Switzerland in 1870 and opened his Finsbury Park restaurant in 1874 with the help of loans from his family.
History Today says:
The location of Pietro’s establishment at 271 Seven Sisters Road was well chosen. Though it was then on the outer periphery of London and therefore, presumably, relatively cheap, it had enormous potential. Finsbury Park had opened just a few years earlier in 1869. Its station then marked the north-eastern limit of the suburban railway and tram network and what was to become the London underground system....Over the following years Pietro became a family man with a home in nearby Stroud Green Road, where his son Guerino was born in 1877 and his daughter Florida, or ‘Florrie’, in 1879, to be followed finally by his fifth child, Rosa, in 1883.
The full article tells of Pazzi's involvement in the politics of his homeland whilst running his Finsbury Park restaurant.
Pazzi died a wealthy man in 1914 and is buried, as ‘Peter Pazzi’, in one of the most prestigious locations in Highgate Cemetery, the Circle of Lebanon vaults, surrounded by the great and the good of England.
Fascinating, Hugh! Thanks for posting that. I'm particularly interested, as I grew up in Switzerland, albeit in the German speaking part.
The author of the article, Peter Barber, is incredibly knowledgeable about Swiss immigration to London. He's written a booklet called "A Curious Colony" about Leicester Square and the Swiss. His particular interest is -- as the article you posted shows -- immigration from Canton Ticino.
Peter is a nice man -- he is head of maps at the British Library.
More about another Ticino Swiss Food Entrepreneur just posted here. This time in the park itself.
Another gem, Hugh!
Another good view of this restaurant just added here.
Wow! That's a fabulous picture!
Naja, nicht übertreiben..
Post July 1904, electric trams working the MET services to the North and NMT horse trams working to the south, with the North Metropolitan Tramways depot on the left. A better view of the situation here:
Just a small point- in the photo caption you say that the London Hippodrome Cinema is next door, but this is in fact a tram depot and the Hippodrome sign is an advertisement for that theatre (in the West End). The tram depot was later demolished and a cinema did take it's place (eventually becoming the Rink cinema)
Thanks Jeremy. It's great to have your knowledgeable contributions. I just wish there was a book I could read about the past of Haringey's cinemas...............
A bit about another Swiss Italian restaurant, just round the corner in what is now Dotori.
I stumbled across an advert for Pazzi's in an 1896 edition of the Hornsey Journal today, which I have added to the original article, above. In looking again at the link to the article I'd found five years ago, I notice that it's written by Peter Barber, who I've learned this year, is president of the Hornsey Historical Society.