Armin Loetscher “Sweety” founded The St Moritz Fondue Club in 1960. Sweety was a pastry chef at the renowned Madame Floris, and opened the club to cater for vast amounts of Swiss people
living in London.
As the introductory letter to new members pointed out, “The Bierkeller where you can enjoy our Swiss Warteck lager and a sing-song, The Round Table to have a drink, talk or read the Swiss newspapers, the Fondue Stuebli where it is a little quieter-for a game of cards maybe; the disco with a resident DJ. Here you can let your hair down; no one will mind.”
Throughout the 60's and 70's, the St Moritz thrived (annual membership, 4000) and when Sweety wasn’t cooking fondue or rosti, he was organising bratwurst parties, spaghetti parties,
gluhwein parties and après-ski themed parties at the club. The club even had its own newspaper, The St Moritz News, and a football club, F.C Moritz.
From the clubs early years, bands have played at the St Moritz, including The Sweet, Episode Six-who became Deep Purple and Joe Strummer’s first band, The 101ers. Before his first gig, so the story goes, Joe Strummer (who later wrote a song about the club, “Sweety at the St Moritz” took a look at the lack of space and said to Sweety, “How am I gonna play here?” to which Sweety replied,
“Well, the Kinks did it”
Throughout the 70's and 80's, the St Moritz became the pre-eminent rock/rock n roll club in Soho. With its proximity to the Marquee, it became the hangout for rock then punk musicians.
Amongst its patrons were Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel & U2. Lemmy from Motorhead was a permanent fixture on the clubs fruit machine. More recently, the St Moritz Club has hosted weekly club nights - most notably it is home to Gaz's Rockin' Blues, the longest running club night in London.