Madame JoJo's

It's very easy to feel ground down by the onslaught on this neighbourhood, but now, more than ever, the Soho which seeks to be inclusive, not exclusive, needs you. Every voice raised really does make a difference.
The latest figures reveal that office space is being converted to residential in Central London at a terrifying and unsustainable rate. Of particular concern to the creative community of London's Soho, is that a quarter of that lose is on our doorstep.
Soho is to some extent, a myth itself. As Ian Board of the long departed (and much mourned) Colony Rooms said of Soho "It isn't what it used to be, but it never was what it was." Soho's seedy, sexy, taboo and often violent history makes it a great place to get nostalgic about. For many, Soho is hardwired into memories of their youth, the clubs, the all night drinking, the sex workers.
Let's not react too late to the next development which comes along that seems intended to make a ton of money for a handful of people, but leaves the spirit of Soho much, much poorer. Let's learn to be proactive when we see those dreaded signs going up about the next "improvement" in this unique neighbourhood.
JoJo's is wending it's way into the memories of Soho just as the likes of Blitz, Gossips, Billy's and the Wag Club have done before it... There is not a conspiracy to destroy Soho, there is instead a powerful belief in its endearing greatness and a desire to build on that and keep it exciting, edgy and relevant.
Today, residents of the likes of Mark Powell and Tim Arnold do their utmost to keep the flame of art and invention alive in conjunction with the annual Soho Literary Festival, Berwick Street Market, the art collective Vermilion Hook, admirable literary hub The Society Club on Ingestre Place and even the modern incarnations of Ronnie Scott's jazz club and the Soho Theatre.
Next door from me is a blue plaque remembering the tenancy of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Soho's enduring attraction as a global destination has always depended on building around and adding to what has gone before. Not by removing it. Not by demolishing it.
Soho was built on sex, art and culture - and we should cherish its idiosyncratic creativity, not strive to stifle it. And don't we have enough alternative areas in London for those looking for a sterilised and family friendly night out? Dylan Thomas once called Swansea an "ugly, lovely town" and in many ways this is how I grew up seeing London. Its areas like Soho providing a beautiful dose of grit and grime in its cracked walls and faces.