The Village bar first opened on Hanway Place, an alley-way north of Oxford Street in London in 1990. It was the first modern bar that reflected contemporary design, it was not a traditional British pub and did not have blacked out windows like many gay bars had at the time, and some still do. It was owned by Gordon Lewis and partly run by his cousin and accountant Lancelot Fougere. It was a single-level basement bar with light contemporary design and employed fresh and good looking bar staff. It became popular quickly, and a second Village was opened two years later, on it's current site in Wardour Street, looking down the length of Old Compton Street.
The Hanway Street Village closed soon after, but an even more contemporary bar (for its time) was opened by its owners, on the former site of Condomania, The Yard bar. The Village advertising featured striking images from the artwork of Trade Mark who was famous (on the gay scene) for producing artwork for legendary nightclub Trade. The administration offices for The Village and The Yard were on the first floor of the Village in Wardour Street, it looked down along the length of Old Compton Street. The Village Group also ran the successful Sunday Tea Dances at Limelight on Charing Cross Road, and was a driving force behind the first Soho Pink Weekend (now Soho Pride) run by Gary Henshaw and assisted by Jonathan Harbourne (who produced the map, advertising and design). Jonathan’s design company produced the design and advertising for The Yard and The Village for two years, from 1992.
1n 1994 Gordon Lewis sold the Village and Yard to Highland Village Taverns.
81 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1D 6QD