Classic Cafes: Presto Old Compton St W1

Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


The Presto Restaurant in the heart of Soho. As of 2003 the owners have been threatening to rework the whole place. This cafe-style place has been cruelly overlooked for decades: 'think Rimini circa 1961... The orange and black interior, wrought iron swirls, plastic 'oak' beams, opaline lights and Artex alcoves stuffed with kitsch... Galliano, Hamnett and Ozbek all pigged out here...while one corner is a virtual shrine to their most devoted customer former local Derek Jarman...' (Metro July 29 '03) "...the interior of Presto on Old Compton Street is being completely ripped out. The original fixtures and fittings lie in piles on the floor like discarded firewood - truly a heartbreaking and depressing sight. Thank God you have captured it on your website for posterity. RIP Presto." (John Gall Nov 11 2003)

Intro | History | Criteria | Reviews | Interviews | Sources | Gallery | Acclaim