The 2i's Coffee Bar: Difference between revisions

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(→‎Legacy: added Peppiatt's mention of the cafe)
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==History==
The name of the 2i's derived from earlier owners, Freddie and Sammy Irani, who ran the venue until 1955.<ref name=storytellers>[http://musicstorytellers.wordpress.com/people-with-2i%E2%80%99s/ Musicstorytellers: People With 2i’s]. Retrieved 24 October 2013</ref> It was then taken over by [[Paul Lincoln]], an Australian [[professional wrestler]], and Ray Hunter, a wrestling [[Promoter (entertainment)|promoter]] known as "Dr Death". They opened it as a coffee bar on 22 April 1956.<ref name=birthplace>[http://2iscoffeebar5670.blogspot.co.uk/ 2 I's Coffee bar, The Birthplace of British Rock]. Retrieved 25 October 2013</ref><ref name=glinert>{{cite webbook|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=lsajhUAqX_wC&pg=PT508&dq=%222i%27s%22+++irani&hl=en&ei=7eyvTt6FJsm18QO9hpj2CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%222i%27s%22%20%20%20irani&f=false|title=The London Compendium|isbn=9780141907253|accessdate=21 December 2014|last1=Glinert|first1=Ed|date=July 2004}}</ref> Tom Littlewood, previously its doorman and a [[judo]] instructor, became its manager in 1958.<ref name=storytellers/>
 
The [[basement]] of the coffee bar had [[live music]] making use of a small, 18-inch deep stage. Lincoln and Hunter started putting on [[skiffle]] groups; the first resident group were [[The Vipers Skiffle Group|the Vipers]], who included [[Wally Whyton]]. It soon won a clientele attracted because of its [[rock'n'roll]] music, and for a time became "the most famous music venue in England," and attracted talent spotters and music promoters such as [[Jack Good (producer)|Jack Good]], [[Larry Parnes]] and [[Don Arden]].<ref name=birthplace/>
According to an article in ''Time'',<ref>''Time,'' Monday, 15 April 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=welch>{{cite book|last=Welch|first=Chris|year=2002|title=Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin|location=London|publisher=Omnibus Press|page=19|isbn=0-7119-9195-2}}</ref>
 
The 2i's closed in 1967. It later became the Dome Café Bar and then the Boulevard Bar. The site then became The House of Ho, a modern Vietnamese restaurant owned by chef [[Bobby Chinn]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://musicstorytellers.wordpress.com/the-history-of-the-2i%E2%80%99s-coffee-bar/|title=THE HISTORY OF THE 2i's COFFEE BAR|work=Musicstorytellers|date=5 June 2009|accessdate=21 December 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.houseofho.co.uk/blog/introducing-bobbys-rocknroll-brunch/|title=House of Ho|publisher=Houseofho.co.uk|accessdate=21 December 2014|url-status=dead|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20141108033249/http://www.houseofho.co.uk/blog/introducing-bobbys-rocknroll-brunch/|archivedate=8 November 2014|df=dmy-all}}</ref> From July 2016 the site has been the Soho Poppies Fish & Chips restaurant.
 
==Legacy==
[[Ringo Starr]] mentions "the 2i's Cafe" – "That's where Tommy Steele would play" – in the song "Rory and the Hurricanes" on his 2015 album [[Postcards from Paradise]].
 
[[Michael Peppiatt]] mentions the café in his memoir of Francis Bacon : "As a teenager I'd gone on a rite of passage to the 2i's café to listen to skiffle groups, sipping frothy coffee out of transparent cups and hanging around in the hope of spotting Tommy Steele."<ref>{{Cite book|last=Peppiatt, Michael,|first=|url=https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/899332393|title=Francis Bacon in your blood : a memoir|publisherdate=December 2015|yearpublisher=|isbn=978-1-63286-344-87|edition=First U.S. edition|location=New York|pages=4|oclc=899332393}}</ref>
 
==Resident groups==
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