Just off Leicester Square in the West End of London is an area known as Soho. Unlike the rest of the West End, Soho has a grid system of streets, making it easy to navigate. It is also famous for being the home of the British film and music industries and the gay community. However, many people don’t know that Soho was once home to many Italians who worked in the area’s restaurants and cafes.
The first noted Italians arrived in Soho in the late 19th century and quickly set up businesses such as food shops, bars and restaurants. Many of these businesses were family-run and passed down through the generations. Some of the most famous Italian restaurants in Soho, such as those on Wardour Street, were started by these early arrivals from Italy.
The Italian community in Soho thrived for many years but began to decline in the 1960s as more immigrants from other parts of Europe arrived in London. By the 1980s, few Italians remained in Soho, and other groups had taken over many businesses they had established.
However, in recent years Italian culture has been resurgent in Soho, with new businesses such as cafes, delis and gelato shops opening up. Several events also celebrate Italian culture taking place in Soho each summer.
Soho is a vibrant and cosmopolitan area of London known for its nightlife, restaurants and cafes. Many don’t see that it was once home to many Italians who made their living working in the area’s eateries. Although the Italian community has declined in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Italian culture and cuisine, with new businesses opening up and annual events taking place in Soho.
As a nod to the thriving Italian influence in Soho, Bantof has created EVO.
Consisting of Extra virgin olive oil, gin, basil and other special ingredients, EVO is a light, bright aperitive that will take you on a journey to the Italian coast and beyond via Soho.
We look forward to offering you a glass soon!