Café de Paris had welcomed stars including Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland.
It’s been a bad week for those who love both London and Paris – seeing as France (and others) have banned UK arrivals – and yesterday’s news has only made it worst. West End cabaret haunt Café de Paris, which had provided glitz, glamour, and plenty of star power over nearly 100 years of operations, has permanently closed, another victim of the financial hardships of the pandemic. [Featured image: @cafedeparislondon]
The café had closed its doors (along with the rest of the West End) back in March, and sadly failed to receive a grant from the £1.5 billion culture fund that the UK government belatedly unveiled this autumn. With no guests passing through the doors in nine months, and the venue’s parent company entering liquidation for similar reasons, the entertainment venue has now confirmed the worst.
— Café de Paris (@CafeDeParisLDN) December 21, 2020
Having opened in 1924, Café de Paris had welcomed a glittering array of stars to the iconic venue, with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Dita Von Teese, David Bowie, and more putting in appearances. It famously remained open during WW2, only closing during the height of the Blitz, when a bomb fell on the café during a show and sadly killed 34 people. Despite the destruction, the café reopened to the public in 1948, and has been a vital fixture of the West End ever since. The word legendary is overused these days, but when it comes to this place, it might just be the only fitting description.
On any given night prior to March 2020, one could wander into Café de Paris and see a smorgasbord of entertainment, with cabaret, music, acrobatics, fire dancers, and more on the bill. It’s an especially cruel closure coming just two weeks before arguably the venue’s favourite night; many a raucous party has taken place beneath the chandeliers here to welcome in the new year. I suppose all we can do is keep our fingers crossed that someone with deep pockets is able to step in and resurrect this irreplaceable spot and give it a new, all-singing, all-dancing lease of life.
Also published on Medium.