The 2i's Coffee Bar  

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"The 2 i’s Coffee Bar (live acts performed in the tiny basement) was probably the first rock club in Europe, opened in 1956 (59 Old Compton Street) and soon Soho was the centre of the fledgling rock scene in London. Clubs included the Flamingo Club (which started in 1952 as Jazz at the Mapleton), La Discotheque, Whiskey a Go Go, Ronan O'Rahilly's (of pirate radio station, Radio Caroline fame) The Scene in 1962 (first mod club - near the Windmill Theatre in Ham Yard - formally The Piccadilly Club) and jazz clubs like Ronnie Scott's (opened in 1959 at 39 Gerrard Street and moved to 47 Frith Street in 1965 ) and the 100 Club." --Sholem Stein on 1950s subcultures and the roots of Swinging London

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The 2i’s Coffee Bar was a coffee bar in the basement at 59 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, England, between 1956 and 1970. The 2i's was owned by Paul Lincoln, a wrestler and wrestling promoter.

The coffee bar had live music and several stars were discovered or performed at the coffee bar, such as: Tommy Steele, The Vipers Skiffle Group, Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin, Terry Dene, Carlo Little, Joe Brown, Eden Kane, Screaming Lord Sutch, Jay Chance, Tony Sheridan, Johnny Kidd, Jet Harris, Paul Gadd (later to be known as Paul Raven and then Gary Glitter), Dene Lincoln, Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Wharton, Mickie Most and Big Jim Sullivan.

Led Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant was a bouncer at the 2i's prior to his career in the music business.

On 18 September 2006, a Green Plaque was unveiled at the site of the 2i's coffee bar to commemorate its existence. Today it is known as the Boulevard Bar and Dining Room. The basement is now just a lobby area.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The 2i's Coffee Bar" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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