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Popular Soho outlet for the non-glossy, rather knowing and subtly stylish
Full-on casual bar with two distinctly different spaces, including the outdoor and garden-like Courtyard, which is heated in winter and which gives this venue the buzz it's known for. Upstairs the Loft Bar provides quieter hanging-out opportunities, with leather sofas, coffee tables and a smokers' balcony overlooking the noisy courtyard below. In short, low-key but not dull, and more cosy than cruisy, though on weekends the cranked-up atmosphere is more in line with typical Soho bars, catering to the "smart, toned and sexy". Linked with "sister venue" the Edge in Soho Square [see entry]. Opened 1995. In 2015 the Yard is threatened by plans for redevelopment, though Westminster Council turned down the first planning application in March. Those preferring to keep the Yard as it is rather than lose it (and an historical Soho spot) to hungry developers — who've submitted a second planning application — should email Westminster Council: email@example.com, quoting 14/12447/FULL.