south side of entrance, 2008
|Street address||68 Regent Street|
|Postal code/ZIP||W1B 5EL|
The establishment was originally conceived and set up in 1865 by Nicholas Thévenon, who was a French wine merchant. He had to flee France due to bankruptcy, arriving in Britain in 1863 with his wife, Célestine, and just five pounds in cash. He changed his name to Daniel Nicols. Under his son, also named Daniel Nicols, the Cafe Royal flourished and was considered at one point to have the greatest wine cellar in the world.
By the 1890s the Café Royal had become the place to see and be seen. Its patrons have included Oscar Wilde, Aleister Crowley, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Noël Coward, Brigitte Bardot, Sir Max Beerbohm, George Bernard Shaw, Sir Jacob Epstein, Mick Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali and Diana, Princess of Wales. From 1951, it was the home of the National Sporting Club. The Café Royal entered a new era after 1972, when it was bought by David Locke.
Restoration and conversion
The Cafe Royal closed in December 2008. The fittings and furniture were later sold at auction. The building is a grade 1 listed building, which will protect its architecturally significant features and fixtures.
David Chipperfield Architects restored and transformed the building into a contemporary, London hotel featuring 159 rooms and historic suites, an array of dining venues, a private members club, high-tech meeting rooms and a wellbeing spa and gym with 18 metre pool. Alrov Properties, an Israeli property company, opened the hotel in December 2012.
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- Howard, Michael (February 2010). "A Seeker's Journey" in The Cauldron #135.
- "Cafe Royal memorabilia goes under hammer". Daily Telegraph. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Browning, Jonathan (18 December 2008). "London’s Cafe Royal Closes: Farewell to Scandal, Wilde, Murder". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Bates, Stephen (23 December 2008). "Cafe Royal party is over as 143 years of high society goes under the hammer". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
- "Café Royal A Very Fashionable Launch". The Handbook. Dec11, 2012.
- Esquinno, Axel (10 December 2012). "Café Royal makes a dramatic comeback". caterer.com.
- "Cafe Royal sale". Daily Telegraph. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2009.