Bunhill: Spy fry

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The Independent Online
AN UNLIKELY victim of the end of the Cold War may be Walsh's, a new fish restaurant in London's trendy Charlotte Street (Channel 4 is just up the road). The nosherie is named after Bernard Walsh, owner of the original, legendary Wheeler's fish restaurant in Soho.

During the Second World War, this became the watering hole for MI6, which helped Walsh fly in otherwise unobtainable delicacies such as lobster. In return, Captain Eddie Hastings, head of Bletchley Park, the secret service code-breaking centre, took shares in Wheeler's to help Walsh pay off his gambling debts.

Walsh handed on the business to his daughter and son-in-law, Elaine and Ronnie Emmanuel. They sold out to Kennedy Brookes for a healthy pounds 8.5m in 1984, since when the chain has shed much of its upmarket image, first under Kennedy Brookes, then under the Forte banner. Now Emmanuel's daughter Elaine has gone back into the family business, but whether MI6 can afford the busy new Walsh's is another matter.

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