The complex was previously: A Pub and a Public House
The Bombay Grab was situated at 246 Bow Road. This pub was present by 1805 and by 1817 had become the brewery tap for Hodgson’s Brewery, which had relocated to an adjacent site. Hodgson’s are of course famous as one of the pioneers of the export by sea of beer to the British colonies in India. Indeed, the name of the pub is believed to be a corruption of ‘Bombay Gurab’, a kind of Indian coastal vessel which would also have played a part in the export beer trade.
The pub was rebuilt in 1933 when this whole area was redeveloped. After the Second World War, the licensee was James Charles Lane, a former champion weightlifter and wrestler. By this time the pub was owned by Ind Coope. It became a free house in around 1990 and closed very soon after, in 1992 or 1993. In these later years the pub had been quite a landmark, with its name painted on its roof in huge white letters, clearly visible from the adjacent Bow Flyover. The former pub now houses a mosque and an Islamic community centre.