Astoria Hotel and Pancho Villa's in Dubai

 From Gulf News Archives, featured in Friday Magazine

From Gulf News Archives, featured in Friday Magazine

The 22nd April edition of Gulf News' weekly Friday Magazine featured an article titled How Dubai’s Pancho Villa’s has changed over the years about a venue that was a very popular in Dubai in the 1980-90s. 

The article includes an interview with Russell Johnson, who used to be the restaurant and nighclub manager at Pancho Villa's. It's a classic article about old school Dubai and one for the nostalgists of this city.

My favourite line from this article captures what Dubai was like then, a small town where everyone went to the same venues (well, almost everyone):

‘You see, back then Dubai was very small. You started out in G&D (George and Dragon) in the Ambassador’s, then you came over to Pancho’s for a meal and a dance and then ended up at The Lodge in Al Nasr Leisureland, the only club that served breakfast at six in the morning. 

I also love this part, 

In his 42 years at Astoria, and Pancho’s, Russel has hobnobbed with some of the best. ‘I have no regrets. I have spent the most wonderful moments with American rock singer and songwriter Suzie Quatro, British musician Leo Sayer, Greek performer of Forever and Ever fame Demis Roussos, Mohammad Ali, and Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers.    

Read the complete article here