“’The pub, we like to think, is relatively internationally unique, it’s a very traditional thing,’ said Brandon Lewis, the Conservative member of Parliament who is the Community Pubs Minister, an office that underscores the special place pubs occupy in British life. ‘In many communities they are really important, not just because it’s where people come together, but it will be the focal point for fund-raising for the community, for the local football club, for the dance class, for the moms’ coffee morning.’
Guy Wingate, a longtime patron, pointed to Hampstead’s fallen locals. While the village has other pubs, the Old White Bear, he said, had become the center of his community.
‘You rip the heart out of that, and we’re either all going to wander the streets like zombies or stay indoors and not see each other ever again,’ Mr. Wingate said over coffee at Cafe Rouge, which used to be the Bird in Hand.”
How do we create community in 2014? If we’re not hanging out with our neighbors, drinking a pint at our local, or spending time with our scattered extended families, how are we connecting beyond the digital world?