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Romano's and Stamps
This was the site of the amazing Romano's restaurant.
This is now the site of the world's leading stamp corporation's Stanley Gibbons but it was once the site of one of the most acclaimed eateries in London.
Romanos Restaurant was an influential place established by a Russian who built up a reputation by serving champagne and caviar. Romanos became the place to be seen by the in crowd especially those with a bohemian bent.
It was formerly called Cafe Vaudeville before Romano, a small, dark, swarthy man with a large moustache, named it in his own honour.
Famous Vaudeville act The Sisters Leamar, sang a song about Romano's:
Paradise in the Strand . . .
The Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII, was a frequent customer. He used to like to have his chair on the balcony so he could see the dancers down below.
Many theatre deals are thought to have been done there, including the one that saved the Drury Lane theatre.
Artist Phil May was a regular and often earned his supper by doing a drawing on the spot.
When Romano himself died, he lay in state in a room above the restaurant he had made so famous.
During the bombardment of London, Romano's didn't survive the blitz.
There was no band or dancing until after the First World War - and then it was all downhill.