The street was first developed in the late 17th century by the landowner, Sir William Pulteney. It first appears on a map of 1664, and was built up over the following decades from east to west. It is now known for its variety of shops and entertainment establishments typical of Soho, such as Madame JoJo's strip club, located at 8–10 Brewer Street. Isow's kosher restaurant was previously located at the same site.
The street crosses, or meets with, Wardour Street, Rupert Street, Walkers Court, Greens Court, Lexington Street, Great Pulteney Street, Bridle Lane, Sherwood Street, Lower James Street, Lower John Street and Air Street, before meeting with Glasshouse Street at its western end.
- Kingsford, Charles Lethbridge (1925). The early history of Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Soho & their neighbourhood. Cambridge University Press. p. 115. OCLC 277441784.
- Jones, Richard (2003). Frommer's Memorable Walks in London. John Wiley and Sons. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7645-6743-8.
- "Madame JoJos". Time Out. London. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Madae JoJo's". Retrieved 16 February 2013.