The new owners of a London off-licence have been condemned by charities and local businesses for rebranding the shop ‘Alcoholic’.
Yesterday the sign above Corner Express in Crouch End was replaced with one which reads ‘Alcoholic’ and features a picture of a drunk man with three cartoonish stars above his head.
Alcohol abuse charity Drink Aware called the branding astonishing, and said it would cause widespread distress. One local businessman compared it to a pharmacy rebranding itself ‘Drug Addicts’.
MailOnline understands the premises passed into new ownership very recently, and after several days of work on the shopfront, the new signage was revealed yesterday.
It is already causing a stir in the north London community.
The Crouch End off-licence, formerly known as Corner Express, has faced a storm of criticism after unveiling its new signage yesterday
Several local business owners panned the change but asked not to be named.
One told MailOnline: ‘Corner Express was a perfectly nice local name, and then I saw this new one, with a picture of a drunk chap with the stars above his head and thought ‘this is going to get a lot of complaints’.
‘I think it’s in very bad taste, it doesn’t do the area any favours.
‘It’s like a pharmacy calling itself ‘Drug Addicts’.
‘A lot of people in a family are affected, when someone suffers from alcoholism, and this is absolutely not appropriate.’
Another local businesswoman said: ‘I was in shock when I saw it. It was quite dark when I saw it, and you really notice it because it’s lit at night so if you drive past your eye is drawn to it.
‘I don’t approve of it at all.’
Ben Patey, 35, said: ‘I definitely did a double-take. Lots of people were commenting on it as they walked past.
‘I can only assume it’s an honest error of judgement unless they’re working on the premise of ‘build it and they will come’.
The unit traded as Corner Express for many years which one Crouch End businessman described as a ‘perfectly nice local name’
Ben Butler of alcohol abuse charity Drinkaware said: ‘It’s astonishing that anyone would want to make light of alcoholism or encourage it, even in jest.
‘It’s in very bad taste and will cause distress to the individuals and families affected by alcohol dependence across the country.
‘The NHS estimates that just under one in 10 men in the UK and one in 30 UK women show signs of alcohol dependence, sometimes known as ‘alcoholism’.
‘Being dependent on alcohol means you feel you’re not able to function without it, that drinking becomes an important, or sometimes the most important, factor in your life. It’s extremely important that excessive drinking isn’t normalized or promoted.’
After photos of the Crouch End off-licence’s new shopfront started to be shared online, some predicted a ‘mutiny’ but others on the thread said they loved the new design
But online reaction was more mixed with several Instagram users voicing their support.
Instagram user “eatwithlovedaily” posted a picture of the new shopfront and wrote: ‘My mother sent me this today, a new off licence in Hornsey, she is waiting in anticipation for the back lash from the community. I personally love their innovative attention to detail.’
One reply read: ‘I have to see this tomorrow! Too brilliant!’ while a number of other users said they loved it.
A man who identified himself as the new owner: ‘Ty [thank you] for share I am the owner in this place with my brother hope we can see you all in there x’.
He received a reply to say: ‘Don’t let anyone tell you to change the name!’