History of 11 Greek Street

Greek Street, running from Shaftsbury Avenue to Soho Square, most likely gained its name from the Greek Church (later St. Mary’s) built in 1677. The church was on the site formerly known as Hog Lane and it appears in Hogarth’s satirical ‘Noon’ from his ‘Four Times of Day’ series.

St Marys Church

St Marys Church. Courtesy of British History Online

Greek Street has held sway for literary circles that have frequented the two long established pubs along the street. Number 7 Greek Street has been the site of a pub by the name of The Pillars of Hercules since 1733. More recently, the pub has been frequented by many figures from the London’s literary scene, including Martin Amis, Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan. Clive James named his second book of literary criticism (‘At the Pillars of Hercules’) after the pub, supposedly because that was where most of the pieces included in the book were commissioned, delivered or written.

Pillars of Hercules

Pillars of Hercules. Courtesy of Flickr

Fellow writer and editor Ian Hamilton also spent time at The Pillars of Hercules during his position as chief editor of ‘The New Review’ whose office was located at 11 Greek Street. The literary magazine was published between 1974-1979 and was celebrated for its content, featuring full length plays by Harold Pinter and interviews with writers such as ‘Catch 22’ author Joseph Heller.

Ian Hamilton New Review

Ian Hamilton, New Review. Courtesy of Ian Hamilton.org

Another pub, The Coach and Horses (also known as Norman’s) at 29 Greek Street has been known as a public house by that name since 1720. It was home to ‘London’s Rudest Landlord’ until 2006 and the fortnightly editorial lunch of satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’ is held there.

The Coach and Horse

The Coach and Horse. Courtesy of Vegetarianliving.co.uk

In addition to this modern literary tradition, Charles Dickens used the house and gardens at 1 Greek Street as a model for the London lodgings of Dr Manette and Lucy in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. Next door at number 2 is the site of the Gay Hussar, a famous Hungarian Restaurant which was put up for sale in 2013. The restaurant, established in 1953, gained a loyal following of writers politicians and celebrities including T.S. Eliot.

The Gay Hussar

The Gay Hussar. Courtesy of Fine Art America.com

Famous Venetian lothario and adventurer Giacomo Casanova is known to have temporarily lived at number 47 Greek Street in 1764. He was often seen in the area and in Covent Garden leading the life of ‘a very gay dog’.

Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Greek Street also has a great musical history in the form of music venue Les Cousins at number 49. The venue opened in 1965 and became a hub for folk and blues music and famous for its all-night sessions. Notable musicians who performed there include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon.

Les Cousins Paul Simons

Les Cousins. Courtesy of Robound56

Each area of London has its unique history that’s waiting to be discovered and it’s always something we look out for when choosing an office location. We currently have a number of offices on Greek Street that are ready for you to enjoy.

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