Where was the Cafe Royal? Does it still exist?
The Cafe Royal was located as of 21 December 2008 on 68 Regent Street, London, Picadilly.
It shut down, as well as 144 years of service and history, to be turned into a spa and hotel which came also in part as part of a package or renovations to be made in the nearby Regent Street area.
During its heyday, the Cafe Royal was the place to be and to be seen. Aubrey Beardsley, Oscar Wilde, Lord Alfred Douglas, G. Bernard Shaw, and many others shared the rights to call the place "their second home". From early accounts, the luxury of the place was noticeable in its excessive Victorian decor, in its formality in dress, and because of its strategic and exclusive location.
Although the Cafe will become now a hotel, its facade will remain the same for the sake of historical memento. Sotheby's auctioned off the contents of the Cafe including the same boxing ring which Lord Alfred Douglas's father, John Sholto, 9th Marquis of Queensberry used to sponsor boxing matches. It is said that the ring still has marks of blood stains from those days.
On and all, it is a sad story of commerce taking over, but at least those who visited wrote their stories and cherished them with us when the place was still there.