40 Essex Street,
(corner of Devereux Court),
+44 207 353 3120
View bar's website
Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat-Sun closed
Originally named 'The Essex Head', from James Boswell's 'Life of Johnson', this pub was built in 1777. The great English author Dr. Samuel Johnson lived close by and it is said that his social club met here regularly for supper, although the Turk's Head in Gerrard Street, Soho also shares these claims.
In 1975, the pub was renamed 'The Edgar Wallace' in memory of Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace, the inventor of the modern thriller novel and author of more books that have been made into films than any other 20th Century writer.
Today, the pub is frequented by legal types from the nearby law firms and beer enthusiasts, attracted by the eight hand pumps and fast changing selection of guest ales. Look out for Edgar's Pale Ale, which I understand is basically Nethergate IPA with extra hops.
The central column which divides the bar displays the beers settling in the cellar ready to replace those currently on pump. Old rugby memorabilia dots the magnolia walls of this pub kept spotless by equally spotless staff.