When Strike heads to the Phoenix Cafe in the Brixton area of London to meet with Derrick Wilson, he doesn’t need the directions he “had given Robin, because [Strike] knew the Phoenix Cafe on Coldharbour Lane of old. Occasionally … his mother had taken [him and Lucy] there: a tiny, brown-painted, shed-like place where you could … eat large and delicious cooked breakfasts, with eggs and bacon piled high, and mugs of tea the color of teak.”
Here’s what it probably looked like back then….
When Strike enters the cafe, “it was almost exactly as he remembered: cozy, snug and dingy, its mirrored walls reflecting tables of mock-wood Formica, stained floor tiles of dark red and white, and a tapioca-colored ceiling covered in molded wallpaper.”
Sadly, the iconic Phoenix Cafe has closed permanently. But if you’re in the mood for some Fancy Funkin Chicken, you’re in luck. This is what is at the original location now:
You can visit the former Phoenix Cafe/current Fancy Funkin Chicken here on Google Maps.
Here’s an interesting article about the owner of the cafe finding out that his establishment had been immortalised in The Cuckoo’s Calling.