This is the ninth in a series of posts comparing photos of London taken by Henry Dixon in the 1870s and 80s with the same view today.
Use our Google map to see where they were taken.
It shows the corner of Brewer St and Lower James St, Soho, in the warren of backstreets just north-west of Piccadilly Circus.
The top picture is Dixon's. A zoomable version of this image is on our Online Gallery. Writing about the building in 1880, Alfred Marks commented: "The photograph shows an old-fashioned shop, dated early eighteenth century, of a style very few examples of which are now left. Brewer Street was built about 1680, Soho being then, as it long remained, a fashionable part of the town."
Below it is the same view as it appeared in August 2009. The 18th-century front is long gone, and the shop which apparently used to sell technical equipment is now, like so many London locations with a heavy footfall, a coffee shop. (The Yellow Pages list nearly 1,900 in London.)
The preponderance of such places in the capital is nothing new: the first London coffee shop opened in 1652, and a decade later there were over 80. One coffee shop, which started in 1688, proved a useful meeting place for merchants dealing in marine insurance, and subsequently became Lloyd's of London.