Milroy’s of Soho was founded over fifty years ago by John ‘Jack’ Milroy in 1964. John had begun his career at Kettners Wine Shop (now sadly closed) and left despite an attractive offer to stay. Instead, he decided to start his own wine shop just up the road at 3 Greek Street where we remain to this day. His brother Wallace, a gold miner in South Africa, provided the funds and John took advantage of the removal of price controls to sell wine and spirits at much better value than his competitors, making him the go-to man for affordable high-quality booze.
The Soho Wine Market, as we were then known, soon went on to sell not just wine, sherry and Champagne; but also whisky - as Scottish single malts entered the UK market in the 60s and 70s.
Before long Milroy’s was best known for selling the largest selection of whisky in London, perhaps even the world! John and Wallace were delivering to the biggest names in London, even the prime minister was a regular customer. Such was their name, the brothers were invited to tour Japan. Running whisky tastings for business men and women over the course of their trip, we still get calls today from people who attended tastings on this seminal tour. Between John and Wallace they established Milroy’s as a whisky institution. John went on to bottle many whiskies under his own name, and Wallace wrote the still revered Malt Whisky Almanac.
Many people who work in the whisky industry today started drinking whisky in our bar with the two brothers, or even began their careers on the shop floor.
By the time the brothers sold the company they were world famous whisky icons. The company would later be run by La Reserve under the stewardship of Mark Reynier (who would go on to successfully reopen the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay), and then by a London wine merchant.
In 2014 Milroy’s of Soho became independent once again. The cellar bar has been reinstated plus we have a whisky bar on the ground floor. We have retained our excellent selection of whisky from Scotland and around the world, plus a great range of other spirits, wine and beer. The staff remain as knowledgeable and passionate as ever. Begin your whisky story with us today!