(removed Category:Former music venues; added Category:Former music venues in the United Kingdom using HotCat)
The coffee bar allowed standing room for about 20 people, and had a serving counter with an [[espresso]] coffee machine, orange juice dispenser, and sandwich display case. A door at the back led to the manager's office, and a narrow stairway led down to a "dismal and dark cellar about the size of a large bedroom, lit by a couple of weak bulbs. At one end was the small 18 inch stage made of milk crates with planks on top of them. There was just one microphone, left over from the [[Boer War]], and some speakers up on the wall."<ref name=birthplace/>
Several recording stars were discovered at, or performed at, the coffee bar, including [[Rory Blackwell]], [[Tommy Steele]], The [[Vipers Skiffle Group]], [[Cliff Richard]], [[Hank Marvin]], [[Bruce Welch]], [[Brian Bennett]], [[Tony Meehan]], [[Jet Harris]], [[Brian Locking|Brian 'Licorice' Locking]], [[Vince Eager]], [[Terry Dene]], [[Wee Willie Harris]], [[Adam Faith]], [[Carlo Little]], [[Joe Brown (singer)|Joe Brown]], [[Clem Cattini]] ([[The Tornados]]), [[Eden Kane]], [[Screaming Lord Sutch]], [[Tony Sheridan]], Keith Kelly,Timothy Fitzpatrick, [[Lance Fortune]], [[Jay Chance]], [[Albert Lee]], [[Johnny Kidd (singer)|Johnny Kidd]], Paul Gadd (later to be known as Paul Raven and then [[Gary Glitter]]), [[Ritchie Blackmore]], [[Alex Wharton]], [[Mickie Most]] (as the Most Brothers)<ref>[http://www.kentgigs.com/musicbiz/People.html#billkent Bill Kent]</ref> and [[Big Jim Sullivan]].
According to an article in ''Time'',<ref>''Time,'' Monday, April 15, 1957</ref> [[skiffle]] was new to the UK, and the 2i's Coffee Bar and, nearby, [[The Cat's Whisker]], founded by [[Peter Evans (restaurateur)|Peter Evans]], were where "Soho hipsters swelter and suffocate for it... and... generally the musicians were paid with coffee and cokes".<ref>McDevitt, Chas: ''Skiffle: The Definitive Inside Story''. Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-140-9</ref> Evans later started the [[Aberdeen Angus Steak Houses|Angus Steak Houses]] from the bar. [[Lionel Bart]] and [[Mickie Most]] worked there as waiters.<ref name=birthplace/> [[Led Zeppelin]]'s manager, [[Peter Grant (music manager)|Peter Grant]], was a bouncer at the 2i's prior to his career in the music business.<ref name="Wall">[[Mick Wall]] (2008), ''When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin'', London: Orion, p. 18.</ref>