Fitzroy Tavern, W1T 2NA

  • (020) 7580 3714
  • 16 Charlotte Street (map of this place)
  • W1T 2NA

The Fitzroy Tavern

<cite>Annexe to the Temple of the Muses
Where, musing done, the poet boozes.
</cite>    — Patrick Kirwan, February 1929, Annie Kleinfeld's autograph book


Tony says on the list: “The beer is indeed very well kept in there and last time I was in they seemed to have the full SS's range”.


Full menu served till 9:30pm. Tony says on the list: “the food varied between very good and pretty standard faire (and the veg soup tasted like I had opened a cheep tin at home).

I was here (briefly) on Monday night. We didn't actually eat there; we tried to order shortly before 9:30pm and were told that they were not serving food any more. From the menu (or what I can remember of it) they do burgers (beef, chicken, veggie), two fried fish things, Tikka Malasa (veggie or chicken), a pasta dish or two, baguettes with hot food inside. Main courses cost from �6 - �8. Starters/snacks like wedges, fried camemberts and jalapeno cheese dips were available at �3 - �5. Marna

Service and Ambience

Some people love this place, some hate it. Ben says on the list: “I've been drinking in there since about 1995, and I like it. [...] The OB is reasonably well-kept, though not excellently so.” Joel says on the list: “The Fitzroy Tavern is horrible — rude australian barstaff, poor beer, noisy, intrusively flashing fruit machines, full of people in reebok classics trainers — I can't think of a less appealing pub to go to.”


There is a function room in the basement, with toilets on the same level, but it costs �25 to book (and another �25 if you want the bar open) and the person I spoke to sounded dubious about us getting more than 35 people in there. The lower bar function room is a comedy club every wednesday (since 2000)

Other Reviews


The building was originally constructed as the Fitzroy Coffee House, in 1883, and converted to a pub (called “The Hundred Marks” due to the many German immigrants living in the area) in 1887, by [William Mortimer Brutton]?.

In the early years of the 20th century, Judah Morris Kleinfeld, a [Savile Row]? tailor and naturalised British citizen originally from Polish Russia, decided that he wanted to become a pub licensee, and started the work of persuading the brewery that owned the Hundred Marks, Hoare & Co., that he was the man for the job. Although they originally thought that his name sounded too German, his British citizenship, which he'd obtained a decade and a half earlier, swung the balance; and he was even given special permission for his under-age daughter, Annie, to work behind the bar, since his three sons were all serving in the Forces at the time. Annie had had ambitions to go to finishing school and become a fine lady, but gave them up to help her father with his dream. Annie did all the book-keeping for the pub, since Judah couldn't write English. The pub re-opened as the Fitzroy Tavern in March 1919.

The area of Fitzrovia is named after this pub; the term was coined during the 1930s, when the Fitzroy Tavern was frequented by writers, artists, sculptors, composers and poets in some kind of Bohemian community:

“In those days”, said Charles Allchild — he was talking of the days just after the First World War — “if one of them sold a picture, or had an article accepted, they were all in the money for as long as it lasted. Then they were all broke until another one was lucky.” (quoted from

It was the strong personality of Judah Kleinfeld, known as 'Pop' Kleinfeld, which made the place. Nina Hamnett, one of the main people on the social scene, tried out all the pubs in the area, and decided that Pop Kleinfeld and his lively Fitzroy Tavern were the closest she was going to get in London to the Parisian cafes, and introduced her 'set' to them. Augustus John and Jacob Epstein were only two of the famous personages who used to drink here. Even Aleister Crowley was a customer, though Annie didn't approve of his presence.

The Fitzroy Tavern was the birthplace of the Pennies From Heaven charity, which developed from an idea by Pop Kleinfeld. He saw the loser of a darts match in the public bar throw a dart into the ceiling out of exasperation, and decided to provide darts with little paper bags attached for people to put money in and throw at the ceiling.

The history of the pub is described in The Fitzroy: The Autobiography of a London Tavern (photo) (the story of Sally Fiber, the grand-daughter of Pop Kleinfeld, as told to Clive Powell-Williams). Much of the historical information on this page comes from that book. --Kake

(Latitude: 51.518105 Longitude: -0.133038)
Last edited 2009-03-17 13:50:06 (version 7; diff). List all versions.