13-15 Greatorex Street with 80 Old Montague Street, including the former Morris Kasler Hall (kosher luncheon club)
Contributed by Survey of London on March 30, 2017
This site was acquired by the adjacent Great Garden Street Synagogue in 1934
and a year later Messrs Joseph, architects, prepared plans for two buildings,
to be a welfare centre and antenatal clinic for the Federation of Synagogues.
These were approved, but not seen through. The site stood empty until 1961–2
when development was carried out through Dennis S. Lichtig, architect, and J.
Hyde & Co. Ltd, builders, to provide the synagogue with a single-storey
communal hall. In the late 1960s this was named the Morris Kasler Hall, after
a leading member of the congregation, and became home to the Kosher Luncheon
Club, filling a gap caused by the demise of the area’s small Kosher
restaurants. Above were two storeys containing four flats.
Much of the synagogue's congregation and the Federation’s adjoining offices
moved away, but the luncheon club, the last of its kind and among the last
manifestations of the Jewish East End, continued up to 1994, having endured a
racist arson attack in 1992. The complex was acquired by the Bethnal Green
Business Development Centre Trust, with the help of a European Union grant as
part of the Bethnal Green City Challenge, for a conversion to offices and
studios. This was carried out in 1999 by Ankur Architects for use as a
Business Development Centre. There are six flats above the former hall, the
block having been raised a storey in the late 1990s.
Kosher Luncheon Club
Contributed by georgemoult on July 28, 2019
The Kosher Luncheon Club was owned by my uncle, Lou Morrison, and Connie
Shack, both of whom are sadly no longer with us. It became well known enough
for the Sunday newspaper The Observer to run an article on it in their
colour supplement in the 1960s. (Probably still in their archives.) Not only
was the food delicious but the portions, especially the fish, were HUGE. Lou
used to joke, 'We're so posh you don't choose the fish. The fish choose you.'
Just round the corner from
Blooms, it never had to
live in their shadow. A little gem, after the massive 'redevelopment' of Old