Radicals & Victuallers in Islington - Our Story

Eclectic and discerning music venue for those that know

“Radicals & Victuallers…what the hell is a Victualler when it’s at home?” Am I right? The name might be impossible to say after a few shandys (or maybe even before a few shandys), but we can assure you, behind this enigmatic, tongue-twister of a name is a whole lot of history….

Often referred to as Labour’s ‘heartland’, Islington has long been synonymous with ‘radicals’ throughout history -  from punk bands in the mid-80s, to the workers party in the 90s. Prominent feminist leaders such as Mary Wollstonecraft (known as the ‘first’ feminist) and Margaret Hodge were also born and bred in the borough of Islington. 

Victuallers, defined as ‘a person licensed to sell alcohol’ refers to Islington containing the highest number of licensed premises’ in the UK. At the start of the Industrial Revolution, London grew rapidly over a 10 year period and Islington’s population alone, grew by almost 60%. The first thing these new settlers did was to set up bars and brothels, which equated to 200 new bars opening in just 10 years. 

Today, Islington still has it’s ‘radical’ edge with its thriving art scene and plethora of bars and restaurants showcasing cuisine from all over the world. It’s home to current Labour leader, Jeremy Corybn and houses one of the most famous Dance Theatres in the world, ‘Sadler’s Wells’. Radicals & Victuallers does its bit in celebrating and continuing this rich history, by offering ‘alternative’ events such as Retreat Yourself – Mindfulness meets comedy, as well as one of the best drinks range’s in Angel.

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