This area, between Soho, Bloomsbury and Marylebone is known as Fitzrovia, a name first used publicly by Daily Express columnist William Hickey.
From the 1920’s to the 1950’s, the Fitzroy became a meeting place for young intellectuals, writers and artists, their unconventional lifestyles being labelled ‘Bohemian’. Welsh born artist Nina Hamnett was known as the ‘Queen of Bohemia’ held court at the pub with friend Augustus John. Other famous regulars included, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas and Jacob Epstein.
In 1833 a coffee house was built here on land owned by the the Duke of Grafton, family name, Fitzroy. The first duke was the illegitimate son of Charles II. The pub was built 1897 and designed by W.M. Brutton, who’s prolific output includes the King’s Head, Tooting and the now defunct Earl Russell, on the corner of Wells Street and Mortimer Street.
A family business almost from the start ‘Pop’ Kleinfeld was licensee from 1919 and his daughter Annie, took it over until the 1950’s. Annie started a charity ‘Pennies From Heaven’ which took needy childen on outings. It was funded by customers who pinned donations to the pub’s ceiling. His granddaughter, Sally Fiber, who was born in the pub, wrote a book entitled “The Fitzroy; an autobiography of a London tavern”. Many photographs remain in the pub and chart its long and fascinating history.Children welcome at lunchtimes. Function room in downstairs bar. Comedy night Wednesdays at 8pm (please check first).