Numerous Soho venues are backing the campaign to pedestrianise the area and relax licensing measures to allow them to serve patrons outside
The move comes in reaction to the devastating impact of covid-19 on the hospitality industry and is being led by Soho Estates and Shaftesbury PLC.
With the fear that a lot of venues will have to stay closed in light of current social distancing rules, the Soho Summer Street Festival is hoping that by pedestrianising Soho and relaxing licensing regulations, venues will be able to extend their serving area to the streets. The area is in particular danger of staying largely closed due to the close proximity of its businesses, and small sites with a low number of covers.
The likes of Quo Vadis, Soho House, G-A-Y Bar, 10 Greek Street, Sussex, Polpo and L'Escargot are just some of the many Soho institutions driving the initiative.
'With so many brilliant independent businesses in Soho, we are at risk of losing the culture that makes the area so special,' said John James, managing director of Soho Estates. 'Despite the awful effects of the crisis, it has been incredibly warming to see the community come together in such a way.’
The campaign is aiming to begin by pedestrianising key streets in Soho, such as Old Compton Street, Greek Street, Frith Street, Dean Stree and Beak Street, followed by an appeal to Westminster council to relax licensing measures.
Transit Studio, an architecture and interiors studio, has been working closely with Soho Estates and Shaftesbury to bring the festival to life. Having worked with a variety of operators and restaurateurs in the past, they have now joined forces with the landlords to help make Soho Summer Street Festival a reality.
Friends of Soho can support the campaign by adding their signature. Head to the campaign website for more information.