The Colony Room on Dean Street is a private members club of a type that's all but vanished from once grandly, bohemian Soho. Mainly because it is this: a fairly grotty green room made legendary by its illustrious track record of celebrity drinkers. It's the club where Kate Moss did a stint as barmaid; Dylan Thomas threw up on the carpet and Princess Margaret popped in for a pink gin.
As is the way with down at heel things in desirable areas, its cards have been marked for glossy redevelopment for some time but, as this feature in Time Out shows, the membership are at loggerheads with the club secretary and site leaseholder, Michael Wojas, over what the options are. Can the lease really not be renewed? If they have to move, then who decides where to? And does Mr Wojas really have the right to personally flog the artwork off the walls?
More bad news was revealed yesterday; apparently the rent hasn't been paid for the last 2 quarters, even though (some) membership fees have, so a lease renewal negotiation is looking increasingly unlikely unless someone stumps up rapid.
Will the club make it till Christmas, when a big 60th birthday bash was planned? Said bash either bowing out of Dean Street with a boozy bang or celebrating a second chance at bohemian depravity for a further 60 years?
We're inclined to disagree with Sebastian Horsley, "dandy, writer and artist" that "it's a fucking tragedy what's happening. From Bacon to Beckett, Rimbaud to Rotten, the Colony must not be forgotten" but if you're a regular, fan or wannabe, artistic reprobate drinker you can put your support behind the Save the Colony Club campaign by adding your name to their petition.