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Historic London Pub is Trying to Save Itself by Becoming a Nude Bar

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One of London’s oldest and most well-reputed bars, the Coach & Horses in Westminster’s Soho district, will soon be taking a turn down a more natural path after acquiring a license that will allow patrons to strip down to their birthday suits.

With an entertainment license allowing for full nudity, the historic pub will now host “nude nights” beginning next month, where patrons will be treated to not only their favorite stiff drinks but a few sneaky peeks as well.

The idea was announced by the popular pub’s owner, Alastaire Choat, after locals and staffers produced a “Beauty and the Beasts of Soho” nude calendar to save the bar from having its lease on the property not renewed by Fuller’s Brewery, which purchased the building above the pub, according to CNN.

Choat explained:

“You do have to have the right staff on, because obviously the team have to be comfortable with it.

But to be honest with you, when you do these things, after 10, 15, 20 minutes no one notices anymore. It’s a bit like you go to a pub where there’s a band playing and you not very interested in it, after a while it’s just background music.

If everyone’s naked it’s going to be hilarious, it will be very funny.”

The tavern, which has been operating since 1847, has been a regular haunt for such notables as Sir Francis Bacon, Fleetwood Mac’s Danny Kirwan, and a number of other famous journalists, actors, and artists.

In 2006, Choat took over the lease on the building from Norman Balon, who had earned notoriety for being “the rudest landlord in London.”

Patrons and community members have been highly supportive of the Choats’ attempts to keep Coach & Horses a fully family-run business, with over 11,000 people signing a petition started by Choat’s daughter, Hollie.

“Legendary Soho institution pub Norman’s Coach and Horses’ AS WE KNOW IT WILL BE GONE BY JUNE 2019,” her petition read, before adding that the new operators “will very likely turn the pub into a soulless chain outfit and strip it of its unique character and spirit.”

The two are hoping to maintain what they describe as a “bohemian atmosphere so beloved by journalists, actors and artists.” The two have turned the historic boozer into a more modern business, complete with vegetarian and vegan options alongside classic British pub fare like fish and chips, steak, and roast chicken.

Fullers Brewery, however, told CNN that their plan is to turn the pub into “one of the gems in our Managed Pubs & Hotels business.”

For his part, Choat hopes that his own bit of resistance in the vein of British classics like The Full Montyand Calendar Girls will help save the pub while also reviving a uniquely British form of resistance.

“There is this—in times of real need and despair and trying to defend something of value—great British tradition of stripping off.”

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