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Dave Scales

Lovely grub, makes me feel hungry


The New Pic's closing down soon, isn't it? What a shame.

We were filmed in there for LWT once. They stuck a boom in between us while we were eating.

Sean Hogan

I'd heard that it has a year left to be saved, however any plans to save it might be torpedoed should the area be slated for redevelopment. That way it'll go the same way as Southern end of Golden Square last year on the edge of Soho. God, looking at all those pictures makes me soo hungry. Cheers.

Jamie Hodge

This is indeed sad news concerning the New Piccadilly. Before I left Scotland for a jaunt round the antipodes I would travel down to London three or four times a year and ate steak, egg and chips ( 50p for an extra egg ) with bread and butter in the N.P. of an evening many times. Lorenzo, his nephew Marko ( now AWOL ) and the waiting staff were invariably pleasant and polite.
I am due back in London from New Zealand at the end of January 2005. Will I be too late for one last cup of super-heated tea ?


Apparently closure is inevitable at some point. It's just when the developers decide doing up the whole area is economically viable. Or something. And also, from all the interviews you get the impression that Lorenzo's just had enough. It is a shame.


Before it shuts for good, does anyone have the recipe for Chicken American Garni?

How depressing. It was bad enough that Presto on Old Compton St closed down. My choices for a cheap sit-down meal are becoming severely limited.

The interior should be listed. Someone rich could buy it and recreate the New Pic somewhere else.

Claire Driver

Oh my God I am in shock after hearing about the New Piccadilly closing down soon. It's been around since long before I was born and I kind of assumed it would always be there, a tiny little 'secret' gem in the heart of town where I have felt welcomed for 20 years - i've always taken people i knew there, old and young alike and they have all loved it and some of them see it the way i do and go there fairly regularly - not just because of the great prices but because of the personal service and homely feel in the middle of the increasingly commercial and cloned, ridiculously overpriced neighbours in London. I wish there was something I could do to stop it!

i took my young nieces (aged 4 and 6) there last year on their first trip into london and they still ask me to take them to that little place where they had the ice cream (and got a free kitkat each - who else would do that these days?). honestly! they loved it too and it's sad they won't get to enjoy it like i did!

sorry if i'm rambling, i am in shock and it will be a sad, sad day when it goes (and a marked moment in my life that will prove i am getting old i suppose!).

the one thing i pray is that i don't just turn the corner one day and see it gone without expecting it...... please!!


you know, for all the rumours and speculation about them closing down it's still going strong. I was there yesterday. Maybe there just trying to keep people interested.


The New Piccadilly's future is outlined in greater detail in two newspaper articles shown on the "Classic Cafe" website, under the review section (I think). "Time Out" magazine also had an article some weeks ago.

The cafe's caught between the hammer of a proposed redevelopment, or, if that doesn't materialise, the anvil of a rent review, due, I think, in August 2005.

If the landlord intends to redevelop, the lease will be terminated, with some months notice. If the redevelopment is shelved, the rent is likely to be increased, which is likely to push the New Piccadilly out of business. Either way, the outlook's bleak.

One small saving grace is that at least we know that closure is on the cards. I had a shock at the end of last year when I turned off Charing Cross Road into Old Compton St, to see that "Presto" had closed !!!

I was here last Saturday, early evening, and it was packed, with a good mix of punters. I think the place is deservedly attaining cult status. It was good to see a lot of 20-somethings there, proving that the Starb**king brainwashing hasn't been complete.

I've been coming here about 8-10 times a year since 1995. I only realised it existed after seeing it mentioned in the "Cheap Eats" section of "Time Out", and I consider that I have a better than average knowledge of Central London. A lot of people never venture into Denman St.

I've seen a lot of the "classic cafes" on the gazetteer of Adrian Maddox's web-site. Some have been great, others are in a sorry condition and have clearly reached the end of their natural life. Fixtures and fittings don't last for ever, and I would hate to see the New Piccadilly decline into the sad state of some of the other cafes. It's fitting that it should go out in a blaze of glory !!!

It would be great to see a proper documentary made about the New Piccadilly. There was a 5 minute one shown in July on Channel 4, which didn't do the place justice. I can't believe that a film location team hasn't spotted the place. It would make a terrific 50's/60's period piece backdrop, or even for something set in contemporary London. If you've seen the film "Quadrophenia", based on the Who's album about a 60's mod, you may remember one scene set in Alfredo's ( now S & M cafe).

Let's give the New Piccadilly the benefit of a profitable last few months, by visiting as often as possible. Spend and tip till it hurts, and tell everyone you know to do likewise. I think Lorenzo would be within his rights if he put the prices up by say 10%, as they're pitched on the low side, especially for the West End. Let's face it, he could charge an entrance fee to look at the interior alone ! Let's give him a good farewell, for his well-earned retirement.


I was browsing in the magazine section of Waterstone's,Torrington Place off Tottenham Court Road.

There's a magazine called "the Chap" (www.thechapmagazine.com), which extolls old school virtues in a tongue in cheek way.

Issue 23 has a short article on page 5 called "Farewell Piccadilly", about the cafe, where it states that the place will close "next year". It seems that Lorenzo is philosophically accepting the New Piccadilly's demise.

However, it seems that he's not prepared to let any of the fixtures and fittings go. He says "like the Scythian kings, I'm taking it all with me. I'll have all my horses burned with me on a massive funeral pyre."

tim richards

I used to visit the New Piccadilly regularly for lunch with a friend in the 1980s and 1990s. We would arrive early at about 12 noon and take a seat by the window. Whoever was first got a cup of tea served(without asking as they knew that we were waiting for the other person to come in).I now work near Canterbury and only come up to London rarely. Last visit was in December 2004 and after coffee at the Ritz (much better value than Sta. bu.ks )- we had lunch again at the New Piccadilly. Without asking they again brought our tea - same fantastic service and food.Suggest that Lorenzo franchises out his secret - I'm a chartered accountant and would be happy to help with the organising - it would be a much better idea than other franchising ideas like Macdonalds or Ovencleaning! The suggestion that was posted(gabrielle September 9 2004) of involving some rich and/or famous persons is also a good one. Over the years we had lunch there recognised Brian Blessed and also Sebastian Coe's sister (I think she was a dancer) having breaks in there.There must have been many other famous people in there - maybe we should get out a list. Sebastian Coe is now Lord Coe and maybe he could be involved by his sister or get the Mayor,Ken Livingstone involved in plugging and saving this inimitable part of the London scene - even if it is not in the exact same place but replicated by franchising maybe all over the world!


During a brief period of homelessness in 1988 somebody wrote me a letter c/o the New Piccadilly and the staff saved it for me till I next came in. That's service for you...


To all afficionados of the New Piccadilly.

I paid a visit with my brother on December 27th, and had a word with Lorenzo about the cafe's future. Apparently, he's expecting a rent review notice in March. Depending on the new rent, he may have to close the place. The freeholder is unknown ( sounds like one of those dubious off-shore companies), and all contact is through the landlord's agents. I don't know if the proposed redevelopment is still on, even if the rent increase isn't too onerous.

I was here late afternoon last Saturday, it was good to see that the place was packed ! I think the publicity has possibly boosted custom. I'll be trying to go as much as possible in the next 6 weeks, and suggest that everyone else does the same.

I've seen hundreds of cafes in London, but the New Piccadilly is unique - as was said by Tim Richards, it should be franchised - preferably globally !!!

Greg Ogarrio

God, I hope the New Piccadilly still breathes when I next visit London in late April. I've been to London a dozen times since 1988 but never ventured into Denman Street. A lover of all things English, I've only lately discovered the full-on charm of the classic English cafe. A few trips back, I delighted in the reborn Ace Cafe on the Old North Circular, last trip it was out to the S&M Cafe (Alfredo's) in Islington, having worried for years I was too late to visit a "Quadrophenia" shrine, and E. Pellicci in Bethnal Green--within minutes I grasped everything there: the great food, the great service, the owners and help saying hi to EVERYONE who came in, like they were ALL part of the family. What a joy!


The demise of the New Piccadilly could be sooner rather than later.

I've heard on the grapevine that a hefty rent increase has been served by the landlord, which could force Lorenzo into (understandably)giving up the lease. Get there double pronto, and spend and tip as much as you can. Tell your friends to do likewise.


Carlo, one of the waiters, told me a few weeks back that Lorenzo was about to start negotiations with the landlord for the new rent. Apparently they'll know whether they'll be able to stay on around the beginning of July.

I've heard on the grapevine that Lorenzo's enthusiasm for keeping the place afloat waxes and wanes on an almost weekly basis. He's more positive about things at the moment, as the publicity about the New Picc's possible closure has generated more trade. There's also a TV film or short series coming out in June (I think), starring Bill Nighy. Some of the scenes were shot inside the cafe. This might also drum up more trade.

I was here early Saturday evening, and the place was jam-packed. Sundays are a good time to go, if you prefer a less frantic atmosphere, as trade's a bit slack then. The New Picc's open 7 days a week, from about 12, last orders about 8.30pm, closes about 9pm.

The most practical way of keeping the place open is to visit as much as you can, and tell everyone you know to do likewise.

Greg Ogarrio

Well, a reprieve until summer, maybe! This is good news, in a small way, as I'll be able to visit this wonderful, wonderful cafe at long, long last.

Greg O.


Ooh ooh - it's been on the telly again! It's featured in a new advert for the National Lottery. Close-ups of the formica swirly table tops, sweeps across the lovely room. Oh, and that northern one off Cold Feet in conversation with a talking unicorn...

Lucy marian and David Laybo

Oh my goodness, I just dont know what to say. David and I heard the dreadful news a few months back, and with every visit to the big city we hold our breath, and thank goodness it was still there last week. I have been going to the Cafe since I moved to London for a brief, blue stint a few years back, and it was the only place in the City I felt truly at peace, and loved feeling like a true lady amongst the white uniforms, of the lovely gentlemen who are always so happy to help you. I will literally be devastated if it does go, but in the mean time David and I are going to start rallying. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you want to help, o have any ideas, let us know at my email address above. Keep ordering your steak american garnis... x x x


do not believe a word.do not believe the hype.


The New Piccadilly was featured extensively on some random local London programme that was on ITV1 the other day.

Presenter Suggs (he of Primrose Hill skank-lite perennials Madness) talked extensively to Lorenzo, who recounted his past and current positions entertainingly.. good to see it featured again, maybe it'll help drum up yet more curiosity and trade.

Ian Warner

Lovely to see New Picadilly 'featured' or talked about anywhere. It's been my 'secret' too since 1990 when my A-level art teacher took a bunch of students into London to look at an exhibition. She brought us all into New Picadilly and shocked us all with her enormous appetite for baconeggsandchips.

Every time I've been to London since then, I've stopped off at N.P. for a good fry up. I've filmed there with Super-8, recorded audio there, taken dozens and dozens of photos and have always made sure to introduce the place to someone else.

I've lived in Berlin for 10 years, and recently saw N.P. featured in Die Zeit newspaper and had to shed a tear about the news of its imminent demise at the hand of "developers".

Shall be sorely missed when it's gone.


Does anyone have any up to date information on whether the New Piccadilly has had a stay of execution?

Claire Driver

I went there about 2-3 weeks ago and one of the waiters told me that Lorenzo is fighting it - which surprised me as I've seen/heard him say that it's time.

So who knows?

Who knows....?


I was in the New Piccadilly early on Saturday evening. One of the waiters told me that the rent increase is still being negotiated, but that they're a phone call away from it being agreed or not.

If Lorenzo decides not to carry on, there's a 90 day notice period, before he vacates the premises.

I suggest that any fans of the New Piccadilly pay the place a visit as often as possible in the near future. If the rent's agreed to Lorenzo's satisfaction, that'll be great. If Lorenzo can't get the landlord to compromise, the New Picc will be extinct by the end of the summer.

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