An iconic central London cabaret venue that survived 96 years of war, bombs, recession and uncertainty has shut down with no plans to reopen. Café de Paris which, back in the day, hosted stars like Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, cited unpredictability around the pandemic and low trading as reasons for closing.
Opening its doors for the first time in 1924, Café de Paris achieved notoriety by initially staying open during the start of the Second World War. At the time it was promoted as the ‘safest and gayest restaurant in town, being 20ft below ground’. Today, it sits shoulder to shoulder with Leicester Square eyesores like M&M’s World and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company as a reminder of the area’s former glory. Its stage had been graced by cabaret legends including Marlene Dietrich, Noël Coward and, more recently, Dita Von Teese.
‘We wanted you all to know that we have not gone out without a fight,’ said the owners in a statement. ‘We tried everything but the devastating effect of Covid-19 in the end was too much. We did our best to support our staff, their livelihoods ... but in the end, like so many other hospitality businesses, we have reached the end of the road.’
The closure comes as a result of the venue’s owning company, Maxwell’s Restaurants, going into liquidation earlier this month.
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