El Vinos, remembered

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The Reclaim the Night march along Fleet Street last night ran past the formerly notorious El Vinos wine bar, and has led me to dig out these pics from 1978.  In the olden days the bar refused to serve women. It was a meeting place for that deadly combination of lawyers and journalists, and women trying to find a way into those areas were seriously disadvantaged by not being able to join the chaps’ club. A court case for discrimination was lost the first time round – the day after that, an instant response team was arranged. With no phones and a bit of running about, 50-odd women in male attire visited El Vinos and demanded to be served.  Many of the customers slid away through the back door. The chapesses did share a glass or two before leaving by the front door, promising to be  back.

Report of the court case here and here.

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