Covent Garden’s oldest music venue under threat of eviction

The Roadhouse needs help

Covent Garden’s oldest music venue The Roadhouse has been faced with eviction, and has launched a petition to seek help.

The venue’s Change.org petition – which garnered over 4,000 signatures in under 24 hours – outlines that property developers and Roadhouse landlords Capco have threatened the venue with eviction as part of redevelopment works in the area.

The owners write: “In recent years more and more of the amazing independent bars, clubs, restaurants, shops and businesses that we believe make London the amazing and colourful place it is today have been forced out by huge corporate property development companies who are changing the culture and DNA of London. We are fed up of hearing about London’s bars and clubs being forced out by developers and councils who ignore what the people who live, work and socialise in central London actually want.”

In response CapCo told NME: “The lease relating to The Roadhouse nightclub has expired and we plan to redevelop the unit, significantly improving the space, including providing disabled access. We have been and remain in regular dialogue with The Roadhouse. We are currently going through the appropriate processes necessary to undertake redevelopment works.

“Capco Covent Garden is a responsible landlord and long term investor in the area. We are proud of our track record of stewardship of the neighbourhood, improving the experience for visitors, occupiers and residents. More than 100 new brands have been introduced and significant investment continues to be made in cleaning, security and environmental initiatives such as ongoing greening, air quality, and public realm improvements.”

Amy Lamé, London’s Night Czar, has joined the campaign, stating: “The Roadhouse is a Covent Garden institution and I’ve seen first-hand how much the venue is valued by its customers. Its welcoming door policy and programme of live music and entertainment which appeals to Londoners and visitors alike has been at the heart of Covent Garden’s night-time economy and culture for decades.

“London’s venues are vital to the capital and the Mayor recently published his draft London Plan, which contains measures aimed towards protecting the capital’s night-time economy and culture – including important venues. I would urge the landlord and developer to honour The Roadhouse’s valuable contribution to London’s life at night so that it can thrive in the West End for years to come.”

Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman adds: “The Roadhouse has been one of London’s best loved live music venues for the past 25 years. There are few places left in Central London which champion up and coming live music, 7 nights a week. It’s venues like The Roadhouse which give musicians the opportunity to play in front of live audiences. I myself have enjoyed playing at The Roadhouse with my band The Rhythm Kings. To lose it would be a devastating loss for London’s live music scene.”