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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd March 1933 Born today: Geoffrey Leigh, CEO (Allied London Properties)
23rd March 1905 Born today: Ralph Perring, Lord Mayor (London)
23rd March 1889 The free Woolwich ferry service was launched by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.
23rd March 1861 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
23rd March 1743 George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah premieres in London
23rd March 1729 Celebrated satirical painter William Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.
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.