Fitzroy Tavern16A Charlotte Street
See more about this pub on WhatPub, CAMRA's national pub guide.
The building started life as the Fitzroy Coffee House in 1883 and became the Hundred Marks in 1887; renamed the Fitzroy Tavern in 1919, by which time Germanic references were not popular. Formerly a Charrington's house (and before that owned by Hoare and Co.), the Fitzroy was taken over by Sam Smiths and has recently undergone a complete transformation (along the lines of the Princess Louise in Holborn). A large semi-island bar serves six separate drinking areas, some connected internally. There is a profusion of well crafted etched glass, mirrors, tiles and wood panelling, on which Sam Smiths have really gone to town. Paintings, photos, posters and other memorabilia decorate many available walls. There are two real fires! Even hardened pub-goers should prepare to be impressed. Prices would probably have a Yorkshireman reaching for his smelling-salts, not his wallet, but they are very reasonable - for London. Fitzrovia, which is said to said to be have been so-named, by Tom Driberg alias William Hickey of the Daily Express, from the pub, had a distinctly bohemian flavour from the 1920s onwards, and the Fitzroy was its beating heart, where Pierrepoint the hangman mixed with Fabian of the Yard, Coco the Clown, writers Dylan Thomas and George Orwell, politicians Nye Bevan and Hugh Gaitskell, comedians Kenneth Williams and Tommy Cooper, sculptor Jacob Epstein and artist Augustus John . . . becoming one of the very few pubs to have its own biography, by the daughter of a previous licensee ("The Fitzroy; the Autobiography of a London Tavern" by Sally Fiber, available second-hand or from a good library). Archive photos of this pub as a Charrington's house are available at www.historypin.org/en/fitzroy-tavern/.