DW: I first went to Frenchs late 60’s, when there was a lot of trad. jazz there, I dont know too much pre Ray French only that it was an old style “four penny dark” wine bar. The people called them “four penny darks” apparantly because that was how much a port cost.
I do know it was nicknamed WATERY LES’ bar, Les and his wife owned it and were known to water drinks down, apparantly it had been a wine bar for many many years.
NP: I believe I first drank there (illegally) around mid 1966 or early 1967. It was a wine bar under the old licence law and it was held by Caldwells Wines and simply called Caldwells Wine Bar. There were swinging doors (no jukebox) and barstools. Very hard up blokes sat atop those stools and nursed five ounce glasses of sherry or port.