Back in 2014 when we heard that the wonderful Foyles flagship store on Charing Cross Road was moving, it's safe to say we were freaked. After spending so many hours perusing the paperbacks and chilling in the café, we thought this was the end of a great love affair. And then the new swanky new shop opened a few doors down with its airy atrium and browsable bookshelves and we moved on and the last one became a happy distant memory.
Since the books moved out, the iconic old building has gone through a few different guises. The back of the ground floor became a laser tag for a few months, while the front peddled tourist tat and iPhone covers. Meanwhile upstairs the old Foyles café crew hung on for a bit longer and then You Me Bum Bum Train took over most of the building and turned it into many magical immersive theatrical worlds.
And now we hear that the historic building (which dates back to 1929) is under threat of demolition by the current owners, Soho Estates. Peter Gresswell has launched a petition asking Sadiq Khan to save the building which over the years has welcomed the likes of TS Eliot, John Lennon and Charles de Gaulle through its doors.
Soho Estates' proposal includes 'new shops, restaurants and high-end office space as well as new and improved public realm along Manette Street and into Greek Street'. Although looking at the mock-ups we can't imagine that metalhead's mecca The Crobar will be too happy about that.Share the story