Iconic London bar Milk & Honey closes after 18 years

Game-changing Soho bar Milk & Honey, one of the first speakeasy-inspired bars in London, shook its last cocktails on Saturday night after 18 years in business.

Set over three floors, the booth-filled members’ bar became a Soho institution after opening in 2002, staying open until 3am six nights a week.

Open to non-members with bookings before 11pm, the Soho spot was the London outpost of the New York original, founded by Sasha Petraske.

Ahead of the curve, with its clandestine atmosphere and classic cocktails, it inspired a legion of speakeasy-style spin-offs across London in the early noughties.

Owner Jonathan Downey broke the news of the closure on Twitter last week, revealing that the bar’s final six staff members had lost their jobs as a result.

“We’ve got two more nights of drastically reduced trading at Milk & Honey and then, after over 18 years in Soho, we’re closing for good,” he wrote.

Downey had hoped to keep the bar open until Christmas, but the recent 10pm curfew put in place from last Thursday by the UK government to try to stem the rising tide of coronavirus cases “killed us off”, Downey said.

The bar shook its last cocktails on Saturday night. Having relied on late evening business, the 10pm curfew made the bar’s business model no longer viable.

Downey had campaigned for a rent freeze while Milk & Honey was forced to close during lockdown earlier this year, but was unsuccessful in his plight, despite having paid nearly £4 million in rent since signing the lease on the Poland Street venue.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Old ski gondolas are being revamped as private dining rooms

A Colorado woman is revamping old ski gondolas to convert them into outdoor private dining spaces as a creative solution to socially-distant dining amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news: Gordon Ramsay has a controversial chat with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, a new report states that hospitality venues are not significant areas of Covid transmission, and the Mayor of London announces a £5 million plan to help reopen restaurants. 

Three reasons why the UK Government should compensate the hospitality sector

A report released this week has highlighted three reasons why the UK Government should compensate the hospitality sector for losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the real costs of Covid restrictions on UK hospitality and how to save the sector

Prepare for a shock as we reveal the real costs of Covid restrictions on UK hospitality, and what it will take to save the sector from "financial oblivion", following a just-released report. 

Jodie Kidd joins fight to save British pubs

British fashion model Jodie Kidd has joined the fight to save pubs from permanent closure by calling on the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut Beer Duty in the upcoming Budget on 3 March.

Most Recent Stories

Old ski gondolas are being revamped as private dining rooms

A Colorado woman is revamping old ski gondolas to convert them into outdoor private dining spaces as a creative solution to socially-distant dining amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news: Gordon Ramsay has a controversial chat with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, a new report states that hospitality venues are not significant areas of Covid transmission, and the Mayor of London announces a £5 million plan to help reopen restaurants. 

Three reasons why the UK Government should compensate the hospitality sector

A report released this week has highlighted three reasons why the UK Government should compensate the hospitality sector for losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the real costs of Covid restrictions on UK hospitality and how to save the sector

Prepare for a shock as we reveal the real costs of Covid restrictions on UK hospitality, and what it will take to save the sector from "financial oblivion", following a just-released report. 

Jodie Kidd joins fight to save British pubs

British fashion model Jodie Kidd has joined the fight to save pubs from permanent closure by calling on the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut Beer Duty in the upcoming Budget on 3 March.