London’s Gay Hussar Is for Sale

The 60-year-old canteen was long a gathering place for politicians and journalists

Gay Hussar was opened in 1953 by Victor Sassie.

For the past 60 years, Gay Hussar, on Greek Street in London's Soho, has been one of the most popular meeting places for left-leaning politicians and journalists. The Hungarian restaurant has hosted such notable figures as Michael Foot, George Brown, Charles Clarke, Aneurin Bevan, and Ian Mikardo, but star power apparently isn’t a key to immortality: The Guardian is reporting that it’s been put up for sale.

Gay Hussar was opened in 1953 by Victor Sassie, who received his cooking training in Hungary and opened his first London restaurant, the Budapest, in 1939. He sold Gay Hussar to the Restaurant Partnership in 1988, and passed away in 1999. Today the restaurant is owned by Corus Hotels, and it’s for sale for £500,000 (about $803,500). Bidding is open until Dec. 5. 

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The restaurant has a special place in London’s political history, and harkens back to a time when backroom deals were made inside darkened restaurants. While those days are long-gone, it’s still one of London’s most popular restaurants, so it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of it.