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The listed French pub in London's Soho district lifts the 100-year pints ban


The Class II listed French pub in the Soho district of London is lifting the 100-year ban on pints to reduce contact between employees and customers in the coronavirus crisis

  • The French House in Soho, London only served half a liter of beer
  • Distancing rules mean there is room for one bartender where there is usually five
  • The French house counted Francis Bacon and Dylan Thomas as regulars

As a Bohemian Mecca, the French house has counted Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas and Lucian Freud among its regulars. But none of them could enjoy a beer at the London waterhole.

The Soho pub landmark only served half the beer to keep its Gallic ambience. But now Covid-19 has paid for that centuries-old practice.

Distance rules mean there is only room for one bartender and serving pints means fewer visits to the bar.

Landmark Soho Pub The French House only served half the beer to keep the Gallic feel to it

65-year-old landlady Lesley Lewis said, “On a Friday night there are usually five bartenders serving hundreds of customers – now we can only have one. It's a shame. “Ms. Lewis and her late husband, journalist Noel Botham, took over the Grade II listed pub in 1989.

The 72 year old artist Anthony Hawken visits four times a week. He said, "I'm not going to have beer here. That's not right. I understand why it had to be done, but I'm not going to break tradition."

But die-hard patrons can be happy that a tradition survived – cell phones are still banned.

65-year-old landlady Lesley Lewis said they would normally have five bartenders to serve hundreds of customers on a Friday night, but now they only have one

65-year-old landlady Lesley Lewis said they would normally have five bartenders to serve hundreds of customers on a Friday night, but now they only have one

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