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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
20th November 1906 George Bernard Shaws Doctor's Dilemma, premieres in London
20th November 1898 John Fowler, English engineer (London Metropolitan Railway), dies
20th November 1852 Charles Reade/Tom Taylor's Masks and Faces, premieres in London
Wheeler's Thursday Club
Bacon & Freud's favourite restaurant and home to Thursday Club.
Location: 19-21 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JJ
Description: Wheeler & Co was a specialist Soho Oyster Merchants and Continental Fish Supplies, including a cafe and deli from the early 20th century.
Music legend Larry Adler wrote in 1993: Around 1947 [Royal photographer] Baron Nahum, with Arthur Christiansen, editor of the Daily Express, Frank Owen, editor of the Daily Mail, James Robertson Justice and others started the Thursday Club. It met once a week at Wheeler's Restaurant in Old Compton Street. Prince Philip joined. I, being blacklisted in the US at the time, was dubbed the Subversive Country Member and, in my honour, whitebait, on the menu, was changed to redbait.
Gradually members just died off and when Bernard Walsh died that started the club's demise. Walsh owned Wheeler's and gave us the second-floor dining room for our club premises.
Artist Francis Bacon was a regular, after a morning at the easel he would have lunch here, his favourite Soho restaurant selling seafood and oysters, where he would buy everyone champagne.
Lucien Freud met racing bookmaker legend Victor Chandler here and his painting of him Man Sitting in a Chair sold for 4.5m in 2010.
Today Wheeler's is gone but Boheme Kitchen opened in 1999 as a contemporary bar and restaurant offering British food with an American & European influence.