I see that reprobate son of mine (see Stonch's Beer Blog) has been ratting on again about his favourite drinking den, The Jerusalem Tavern. Buck up, boy, there's more to life than getting bladdered and swearing at pigeons!
Actually, The Jerusalem Tavern's present decor, though it may date back only to the 1990s, is a very clever reproduction of what it must have been in Dr Johnson's day, though I couldn't imagine that grim old fart going there often. Hanging around coffee shops and forcing his views on other people was more in his line than wassailing with the lads. In fact there was a Jerusalem Coffee House in Exchange Alley in Dr Johnson's day, but it was swept away by fire in 1748.
The original Jerusalem Tavern was adjacent to St John's Gate in Clerkenwell, that eminent structure which still stands today. The tavern was "on the east basement" of the gate where "a south side-entrance was ruthlessly cut through the angle of the projecting gate-tower". The quotation is from volume two of Old and New London, a rare set of magazines I bought at auction, dating from about 1880. I believe that the tavern can be seen in the engraving shown here, which dates from 1860.
The keeper of the tavern at that time, Mr Foster, "a great lover of ancient architecture", displayed a large oil-painting in his premises, representing the Knights of St John starting out for a joust. Perhaps the proprietor of the present Jerusalem Tavern should commission a modern replacement!