Plenty of places seem to be thriving, for instance I had a drink in the Elephant and Castle last week - the successor to the pub that gave that area its name is not much to look at from the outside, but it has a good atmosphere and plenty of people were enjoying its Thai food as well as the beer.
Elsewhere though, pubs continue to close. On Walworth Road both the Temple Bar and the Beaten Path have closed recently.
If pubs are closing, other businesses seem to be doing fine in the economic downturn. Next to the Beaten Path is Payday Loans, Temple Bar is rumoured to be in line to be replaced by a Poundland store. Legal loan sharks, pawn shops, pound shops, betting shops -the spreading retail architecture of poverty and hopelessness in the less affluent high streets of South London.