The Moon Under Water was opened on 6th November 1999 by J.W Wetherspoon in the former Olds Garage site, which had been empty since October 1996. £1.75 million was spent on the conversion. Sculpture Matthew West and blacksmith Ivan Bond designed a ‘moon under the water’ sculpture that is prominently displayed.
In 1946, George Orwell wrote in the Standard about his ideal London pub, the Moon Under Water. From the wooden bar to the cast iron fireplace it is “uncompromising Victorian,” he said with approval. “It has no glass-topped tables or other modern miseries. Everything has the solid, comfortable ugliness of the nineteenth century.” The barmaids know the regulars by name and call all of them “dear” regardless of their age or sex. Crucially for everyone who enjoys convivial conversation, there is no music so “it is always quiet enough to talk”. The Moon Under Water was actually George Orwell’s hypothetical idyllic pub – it didn’t exist at all.