I used to go to the Portland Bars in the late 70's..It was opposite the Boardroom pub.
“Yeah, this was on Portland St on the corner of Piccadilly Plaza near what is now the entrance to the hotel. By the early-mid 80s there was a godawful red/chrome/mirrors sort of place downstairs just to the left of this shot. Was it called New York or am I making that up?”
“Waiting for a mate who worked at Piccadilly Radio we ventured down the stairs next door to get a drink and because of our clothes/leather jackets we were chucked back up the steps. We should of stood our ground like one of my mates who was told he could stay if he turned his jacket inside out, thinking he wouldnt do it, but he did and had a drink with his red quilted lining on the outside. Classy.”
“I was the Assisent Bar Manasger in the Portland Bars in 1966 , the Manager was Toby Randell ex British Airway's Cabin Steward , the portland bar was the pub -type bar in the photo and downstairs was the "Dive Bar" which in them days was a steak-bar with meals served till 9.00pm, We had the best bouncers in town , cos we paid a couiple of serving ,off duty police men for security any problems they would show their warrent cards The I left to work in London
“Woodsman - New York New York was an American style diner (late 70's) on Cross Street. The waiters were on roller skates and it was the closest thing to the Big Apple that many of us got!! Great atmosphere..not so sure about the food!”
“In about 1979-81 a guy we knew as Portland Bill used to put midweek bands on there - he would give you a showcase, then if you drew a small crowd and he liked you he would give you your own gig and pay you £20 - Mike sweeney was a regular down there as were other radio types - not sure how long the live music lasted”