Soho businesses back open after suspected unexploded WWII bomb removed

03 February 2020 by
Soho businesses back open after suspected unexploded WWII bomb removed

Hospitality businesses in London's Soho are back open after a suspected unexploded WWII bomb was discovered at a building site yesterday afternoon and the area evacuated.

Soho Police confirmed at 8.38pm the device, which was found in a building site near Dean Street, had been removed, all cordons were lifted and the roads were open again.

Cordons were put in place and buildings evacuated after Soho Police were called at 1:42pm.

Officers cordoned off the area between Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue, Lexington Street and Poland Street. Cordons were later reduced to the area surrounding Dean Street and some businesses were able to reopen.

Restaurants affected by the initial evacuation included Chotto Matte, Ceviche, Simmons bar, Pho and Barrafina; as well as Firmdale's Soho hotel. Firmdale confirmed all guests had been evacuated safely at the time.

Victor Garvey, chef-owner of Sola restaurant on Dean Street, was evacuated from the restaurant earlier this afternoon.

He told The Caterer: "Sola wasn't open today but the chefs and I were in doing some R&D for some new dishes when the police came in and told us we needed to get out politely. By the time we turned off the equipment and left, the tone was much more rushed."

A spokesperson for Honest Burgers said the group's site on Meard Street was closed, adding: "Everyone is fine so no drama... But not sure when this will get resolved as yet."

Quo Vadis restaurant on Dean Street tweeted: "Afraid we have been evacuated for the moment, something to do with an unexploded WW2 bomb. Quite inconvenient. We hope to be able to open the club and honour all bookings this evening, but will let you know as soon as we know more."

Photo credit: Dave Scullion @The_Scullion

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