J Lyons & Co restaurants and catering, including Grill & Cheese, Bacon & Egg, Wimpy and Frood

  • Reference
      GB 1837 DES/RHZ/1/1/26
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      95 pieces

Scope and Content

Material documenting Rothholz's work for J Lyons & Co's restaurant and catering businesses, namely Grill & Cheese, Bacon & Egg, Restful Tray and Chicken Fayre restaurants, and Frood frozen foods (an early form of ready meals). The material has been grouped as follows:

1) Photographs (75 pieces)

1 b/w photograph of a mural in an unidentified cafe, featuring London scenes and bearing the mark of Rothholz's Design Unit.

9 b/w photographs of the interior of the Grill & Cheese restaurant at the Coventry Street Corner House, London.

18 large and 13 small b/w photographs of murals designed by Rothholz at the Grill & Cheese, Coventry Street

1 b/w photograph of a window display for Grill & Cheese

4 b/w photographs of Grill & Cheese promotional material - a menu, a printed "napkin" and a badge

1 b/w photograph of a Grill & Cheese badge on a chef's jacket

11 b/w photographs of murals at Chicken Fayre (identified by reference to postcard listed below)

3 b/w photos (1 of them mounted) of display artwork for Bacon & Egg, Strand Corner House, London

3 b/w photographs of display promoting Bacon & Egg restaurant, 2nd floor, Strand Corner House (where display appears to be located). Note the clock with the hours marked by the pig/egg logo.

2 b/w photographs of murals at the Wimpy restaurant, Coventry Street Corner House, featuring the Banana Pretty and the Whippsy.

1 b/w photo of a mural 'Reserved for Lyons Tea' at an unidentified location

1 b/w photo of 'M Alexandre Douharet, chef at the Cumberland Hotel', and 3 b/w photographs of a 'Lyons Nippy' waitress. One of each print bears the label of J Lyons publicity department.

2 b/w photographs of HAR, no date but probably 1950s.

2 copies of a postcard produced by Maison Lyons showing the interiors of the restaurants Chicken Fayre, Star Grill, Restful Tray, Bacon & Egg and Grill & Cheese.

2) Promotional material (17 pieces)

2 copies of a stand-up table-top display card advertising the Bacon & Egg and Grill & Cheese restaurant openings

Proof of an invitation to a Bacon & Egg opening, 1 Feb [1954]

Box containing mounted Grill & Cheese staff badge and Bacon & Egg pig and egg medallion shape, as used in the clock in the photo mentioned above.

A separate Grill & Cheese badge.

Grill & Cheese menus for the restaurant at Maison Lyons, Marble Arch

Bacon & Egg menus for five locations, with 2 fragments of menus.

Paper "napkin" for Grill & Cheese

Promotional card for new Wimpy restaurant

Printed leaflet for Frood frozen ready meals, and small card bearing the Frood logo

3) Artwork (2 pieces)

Two pieces of unidentified artwork, possibly for murals, showing food and drink.

With HAR's original folder marked 'Bacon & E / Grill & Ch / Cfe Lyons' (1 piece)

Administrative / Biographical History

J Lyons were well known for their Corner House and Maison Lyons tea rooms which originated in the late 19th century. By the 1930s Lyons Corner House were a household name. In the 1950s, they introduced a range of new restaurants along the American model, within some of their flagship London sites including Coventry Street Corner House and Maison Lyons Marble Arch. The Bacon & Egg and Grill & Cheese restaurants were introduced in the early to mid-1950s. The first Lyons Wimpy bar opened in the Coventry Street Lyons Corner House in 1954. Lyons also formed its Frood frozen food division in 1954, which operated under this name until 1963.

An article by Anthony Adams in a 1956 issue of 'Design' magazine (see 'Publication Note') states that by 1956 Lyons had opened eleven 'specialised' restaurants. Given the dating of a piece of Rothholz's artwork to 1954, it is likely that his work for them dates from the early stages of these restaurants. However by the time of the 1956 article there is no mention of Rothholz's work.

Access Information

Researchers wishing to consult the collection should make an appointment. Telephone 44 (0)1273 643217 or email designarchives@brighton.ac.uk.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Photographic prints, printed paper, gouache on paper, plastic objects

Archivist's Note

Created by Sue Breakell

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be sought to publish any material from the collection. Email designarchives@brighton.ac.uk.


For further information about J Lyons and the restaurants in question, see http://www.kzwp.com/lyons, including the pages on Frood Division and Pleasure Foods (under 'Subsidiary Companies), Restaurants, and restaurants. Accessed 4 September 2012.

Anthony Adams 'Thought for Food', 'Design' 90, June 1956, pp20-23.