One of the unexpected stars of the new British TV drama Sherlock is Speedy's, a sandwich bar near Euston station in London. How come? Well, we all know that Holmes' home was at 221B Baker Street, but now there is Sherlock Holmes museum at that address. So, since the story is set in the present time, the producers chose another venue – Holmes’ home is now located at North Gower Street in London, just above the aforementioned Speedy’s bar.
According to Daily Mail “Holmes’ flat” above Speedy’s is really home to two South Korean students, one of whom, Tae Kim, 33, said: ‘There have been lots of people taking photographs outside.’ Owner of the bar also mentioned that there were 200 new customers in the last month, who recognised the bar and asked if it was 221B Baker Street.
Speedy’s is not the only bar that transformed itself from an unknown bar into a set-jetting venue. You probably remember the TV show Cheers that was set in a Boston bar. The Cheers bar was styled after the Bull & Finch Pub from Boston and was originally chosen from a phone book. According to Wikipedia one of the creators asked the owner to shoot initial
exterior and interior shots and the owner agreed, charging only $1. He has since gone on to make millions, licensing the pub's image and selling a variety of Cheers memorabilia.
Since 2001, there has been another branch location, Cheers Faneuil Hall, which was built as a replica of the TV bar. In 2002, the Bull & Finch Pub was officially renamed Cheers Beacon Hill.
I also remembered another two ‘famous’ bars from TV shows: Central Perk from Friends and Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210.
The scenes from Central Perk were shot in a studio, but nevertheless in 2006 Iranian businessman Mojtaba Asadian started a Central Perk cafe franchise, registering the name in 32 countries. One of the locations is in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In 2008 Chinese businessman Du Xin opened “Central Perk” cafe in Beijing named and replicated the interior from the original coffee house.
Producers of BH 90210 used three different locations for the frontage of “The Peach Pit” during the show’s ten year history. Two locations were used in season 1 and when the Peach Pit was fictionally remodeled during season two, the producers used Rose City Diner in Pasadena, California to film the exterior of the gang’s hangout and it remained the same throughout the rest of the show's run.
In the post Veronika Decides To Die I mentioned the importance of famous movie locations for the city branding. Apparently famous movie locations are not only monuments, castles or beaches but also restaurants, bars, cafes … I guess Speedy’s won’t have such success as Cheers, but anyway … make hay while the sun shines ;)