Not so long ago, the future looked grim for Soho’s Lyric Tavern, boarded up and showcased on BBC London, a poster child for Ghost Town Britain. Today, this beautiful Victorian gem has earned itself third place in the West London Campaign for Real Ale branch Pub of the Year competition.
A hot and busy evening and the smart young crowd are gathering to their watering holes en masse in London's West End. This being Thursday, and in Soho, the weekend had clearly already started for many. Locals from CAMRA West London branch had a chance to appreciate a good selection of Local beers and to award the well-earned certificate.
In the last two years the Lyric has been reborn and now serves an impressive range of beers in an attractive Victorian corner pub setting.
Chairman Les Maggs and branch members repaired with Chris to the entrance on Great Windmill Street. After a few words of appreciation, Les presented the award.
This was not the first time that the Lyric had received a richly deserved recognition. More than 20 years ago, the Soho Society said of its 1992 Pub of the Year:
"Well, we thought this year that the Lyric Tavern of Great Windmill Street ought to have the limelight…"
Having bucked the trend of so many pubs that have been boarded up, the Lyric is a vibrant tavern in the middle of Soho.