The Argyll Subscription Rooms, London

From the website

“The Argyll Subscription Rooms were situated on Great Windmill Street, and should not be confused with the Argyll Rooms in Argyll Street (later the site of the London Palladium). The Argyll Subscription Rooms went on to gain a rather dubious reputation.

Although it was tastefully decorated, at one time by Dellicort of Paris, and further rooms were added with handsome furniture, carpeting and chandeliers, it soon became known as a place more commonly associated with prostitutes and their customers.

Despite this the building had a long and successful time under the name of the Argyll Rooms until it was raided by the police in October 1878 and then closed down completely on the 30th of November the same year.

However, despite the fact that Robert Bignell had lost his license for the Argyll Rooms in 1878 by 1882 he was back in business again, this time converting the Rooms into a Music Hall called the Trocadero Palace of Varieties. The Hall could accommodate some 600 people and it was the first time that the name Trocadero was applied to the site.”

From Wikipedia:

“The Trocadero Restaurant of J. Lyons and Co. opened in 1896 on a site on Coventry Street, near the theatres of the West End, which had been formerly occupied by the notorious Argyll Rooms, where wealthy men hired prostitutes. A one time maître d’hôtel of the Trocadero was French-born Raymond Monbiot, great-grandfather of the journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot.

The new settings were done in an Opera Baroque style, and the various Trocaderos of the English-speaking world have derived their names from this original, the epitome of grand Edwardian catering. Murals on Arthurian themes decorated the grand staircase, and the Long Bar catered to gentlemen only. During World War I, the Trocadero initiated the first “concert tea”: tea was served in the Empire Hall, accompanied by a full concert programme. After the war, cabaret was a feature of the Grill Room. The Trocadero closed on 13 February 1965.”

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