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London's Journalists Need to Drink More to Keep This Iconic Restaurant Alive

The Gay Hussar, a favorite among Labor Party politicians and journalists, may soon shutter.

Ben Sutherland/Flickr

London's 62-year-old institution Gay Hussar — best known as a Labour Party stronghold where the likes of Henry Kissinger and T.S. Eliot have dined with Party leaders — is in danger of shuttering. The New York Times reports that despite an ongoing campaign to save the restaurant, the Gay Hussar is officially up for sale. In chronicling the restaurant's potential demise, the NYT acknowledges that the Hungarian restaurant's food was never the draw, but argues the struggling restaurant has suffered from two major setbacks: One was former Prime Minister Tony Blair's healthier diet, the other the fact that "the long, alcohol-fueled lunch" is no longer "a tradition of British political journalism."

Currently, a group of political journalists and politicians are joining forces to save the space, stressing the restaurant's historical significance as one that served "a crucial, sometimes controversial role in British politics." The 160-member group collectively calls itself the Goulash Cooperative, and recently made a £222,000 bid to purchase the building — though as the Times notes, its current asking price is £500,000, or roughly $776,000 U.S. That's a lot of two-martini lunches.

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