We just got sent the above photo in a text message. Yes, it's a bit of a shonky photo, but it makes us very excited - it's a tale of two pubs.
Once upon a time there was a wonderous pub just behind Centre Point called The Conservatory. Stocked with a bar full of very cheap drinks (£4.50 for a bottle of wine in W1??), an amazing table football kit and a quiz machine, The Conservatory was a perfect, cheap hangout for London's lesbian and gay community and their friends. Above the pub was another floor called The Vespa Lounge, a lesbian bar, serving as an alternative to The Candy Bar, which welcomed women of all styles and ages to hang out, play pool, watch comedy and have a boogie. Then, earlier in 2006, the owners decided they wanted to sell the pub and The Conservatory and Vespa shut their doors for the very last time.
About ten minutes walk away on Wardour Street in Soho, The Intrepid Fox pub was a landmark for the alternative/goth/rock London community. A pub had been on the site since 1784, but in August a rich man came along and offered the freeholders a lot of money to turn the pub into flats much to the anger of it's regulars and staff. Petitions were raised but to no avail. The pub shut in September vowing to return.
And now, it seems it has! Moving into The Conservatory puts The Intrepid Fox in a ideal pre-gig location, 2 minutes away from the crumbling pits of the Astoria and Mean Fiddler. Rumour has it, the pub holders have bought all three floors of the former gay venue and have turned the Vespa into a mini band venue.
The Hideout Store's blog has some great photos of the old Fox including some amusing biro grafitti saying "Bring it back you cunts!". Well, they've done just that. Check their listings and we'll see you down there for a pint.