London's Gay Hussar restaurant up for sale

25 October 2013 by
London's Gay Hussar restaurant up for sale

The Gay Hussar restaurant in London, famed for being favoured by leftist politicians, has been put up for sale by owner Corus Hotels.

The property, on Soho's Greek Street, has offered Hungarian cuisine since it was opened by restaurateur Victor Sassie in 1953.

As early as the 1950s the socialist MP Aneurin Bevan was said to be a devotee of the restaurant's large, rich meals.

Labour MPs Michael Foot, Ian Mikardo and Barbara Castle all became regulars, as did Roy Hattersley, whose regular visits to the Gay Hussar were the subject of a ‘spot Roy Hattersley' competition in the satirical publication Private Eye.

It was also reported that Tony Blair was first encouraged to run for leadership of the Labour Party by Lord Tom Pendry at the Gay Hussar in 1983.

Sassie retired in 1988 and died in 1999 and the business is now owned by The Restaurant Partnership (TRP), which itself is majority-owned by Corus Hotels, a Malaysian-controlled firm with 10 hotels across the UK and another two in Asia.

TRP also runs Elena's L'Etoile in London's Charlotte Street.

The leasehold of the Gay Hussar is being marketed for sale by property agent Christie + Co off a guide price of £500,000.

Christie + Co's director and head of restaurants, Simon Chaplin, said: "The Gay Hussar has a special place in the heart and political history of London. Whilst its infamous days as the venue where various political machinations took place may be behind it, it is still today one of London's most unusual and popular restaurants. With this, and its unique history, we anticipate a great deal of interest."

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