The pub was previously known as The Sun but that was destroyed by fire. When the rebuilt premises opened in 1882, ’13 Cantons’ was added to the name as a tribute to its many Swiss patrons (the Old Swiss Confederacy consisted of 13 cantons, although the number had grown past that in the early 19th century).
During the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, the now Grade II-listed pub became associated with the film and television industry which had made Soho its home – among those said to have patronised it were directors like Alan Parker and Ridley Scott as well as actors like Oliver Reed, Peter O’Toole and, more recently, Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Russell Crowe and Gemma Arterton.
The pub has also hosted DJ nights in the basement bar in the late Nineties – Carl Cox and the Dust Brothers (which became the Chemical Brothers) were among those who worked their magic here.
The pub, which has recently undergone a refurbishment, is now part of the Fullers Group. For more, see www.sunand13cantons.co.uk.