Survived the Blitz, killed by covid: Cafe de Paris, famed nightspot of Edward VIII, forced to close

It survived the Blitz and entertained royalty, and was a timeless, bustling hotspot in Central London for the 96 years it survived. But the Cafe de Paris has finally been vanquished by Covid-19.

The business has announced it will be closing for good, with the effects of lockdown even more devastating than the 1941 Blitz bomb which laid waste to the glitzy concert hall, forcing it to close for refurbishment until 1948.

Cafe de Paris was a symbol of the West End, it opened in 1924 and its and hosted a rotating cast of A-list stars including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Noël Coward.

Surviving the ages, it featured in  David Bowie’s 1986 music video Absolute Beginners and in 1990 was a setting for the film The Krays.

The closure of Cafe de Paris has brought into sharp relief the fact that coronavirus may have ended the West End’s glory days for good.

The Blitz laid waste to the cabaret venue, but it managed to rebuild itself

Credit: Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images

In a statement posted on Twitter, the club wrote: "With a heavy heart, we can confirm that we will be shutting the doors of our beloved Cafe de Paris for good.

"We wanted you all to know that we have not gone out without a fight. We tried everything but the devastating effect of Covid-19 in the end was too much. We did our best to support our staff, their livelihoods and respect everyone’s health and safety but in the end, like so many other hospitality businesses, we have reached the end of the road.

“We thank all of our amazing customers for their continued love and support.” 

The cabaret venue’s parent company Maxwell’s Restaurant Group, announced it was going into liquidation, putting an estimated 400 jobs at risk across its nine London venues. 

Appointed liquidator Live Recoveries said in a statement: “Despite hope that December would generate a much-needed upturn in trading income, it was apparent low customer numbers, uncertainty surrounding trading, and mounting creditors and rent arrears left the company with no alternative.”

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