Café de Paris Closes its doors after 96 Years

Another day, another sad announcement.

Café de Paris is one of London’s oldest and most iconic venues. Known not only for its incredible cabaret shows and memorable parties but for its phenomenal history.

The venue first opened its doors in 1924. Back then, Café de Paris was frequented by famous faces such as Cole Porter, as well as Louise Brookes who made history there, by performing the first-ever Charleston in London.

During the Second World War, the venue initially stayed open with its manager promoted it as the “safest and gayest restaurant in town, being 20ft below ground.” In 1941 the venue was hit during the Blitz, with many performers, staff, and guests sadly losing their lives.

The venue didn’t reopen until 1948 when it firmly re-established itself as one of the leading theatre clubs in London, playing host to Judy GarlandFrank SinatraGrace Kelly, and many more. Since then, the venue has been host to many incredible performers, as well as providing the backdrop for films and TV shows.

In 2002, Café de Paris was bought by Maxwell’s Restaurant Group, which also owns Tropicana Beach Club as well as many other well-known bars, clubs, and restaurants. Unfortunately, this month the group has had to make the heartbreaking decision not to reopen any of these much-loved venues. 400 jobs will be lost, and that of course does not include the dancers, performers, DJs, and others who freelance there.

The closure of these iconic places really goes to show the impact that this pandemic is having on the nightclub scene.

The NTIA has been campaigning for better support from the Government, as the move into Tier 4 puts even most strain on the sector. “The Night Time Economy & Hospitality sector has lost all confidence in the government strategy against Covid,” said Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill in a statement. “The unrelenting closing and reopening of businesses are costing owners hundreds of thousands of pounds, and coupled with the erratic decision-making around restrictions, is rapidly destroying the ability of the sector to bounce back.”

Café de Paris welcomed a new General Manager, Aaron Sinkia at the end of last year. After an incredibly successful January and February, they were set to have their best year yet. But with their doors tightly shut for the last nine months, the story has sadly had a very different ending.

Posh Cockney CEO Liam Norval spent 10 years working at Café de Paris as Marketing Director. Here he built his career, making contacts right across the hospitality world, and hosting incredible events such as Celebrity Saturday.

This is truly heart-breaking news. I spent almost a decade at this amazing venue and have some unforgettable memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I think back to some of the incredible parties we threw, the celebrities we had through the door, the people I met, and the friends I made.  Café de Paris was an institution and will always be in my heart as I know it will be in many others. The team I worked with over that 10-year span were fantastic, and I call them all very dear friends today, I wish them all the very best of luck. Who knows if this is the end for Café de Paris, I certainly hope not.” – Liam Norval, CEO at Posh Cockney

This is a venue close to the hearts of the whole team here at Posh Cockney, and we are hugely saddened by the news. However, we know that with closure, comes opportunity. We are confident that these venues will not stay closed for long, and we are excited to watch the next stage of their history unfold. 2024 will be Café de Paris’ 100th birthday, that sounds like a party everyone will be wanting an invite to.


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