Ever since Leo Stanley Barrick heard his father play the world’s first jazz record, he was hooked. He was twenty-four when his father put the gramophone needle onto a copy of Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band that he had come by from an American sailor he traded with at the docks. Realising early on that he didn’t have the talent to make a career from the music he loved so much, he set himself the target of owning London’s premiere jazz venue.
Using the contacts and entrepreneurial skills he learned from his father, Leo was soon supplying alcohol and various other pleasurable goods to most of London’s emerging entertainment industry, venues and private customers. He wasn’t a criminal as he didn’t have the heart for it but he knew where the line was and how to navigate his businesses right up against it.
He first opened his pride and joy, Bar Barrick on Dover Street in 1946 after making considerable profits during the rationing years of the war. The business grew slowly, but that didn’t bother Leo, he had the resources and income from his other interests to allow him to follow his dream. His vision was to create a place for music lovers where the conversation was enthusiastic, happy and voluminous, an intelligent and mature club where everyone was welcome at his home for happier times