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The cafes are taking over!

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Wednesday 25 February 2004 3.41pm
How many more Cafes do we need along one stretch of road??
Seemingly, we SE1'ers are in desperate need for mega amounts of caffienne.
In fact so much so, that within 4 of the newly opened outlets in the new 'More London' site on Tooley St, two are cafes, one is a Bagel shop(that sells coffee) & M & S.
Apart from having numerous cafes/restaurants in the adjacent Hays Galleria - & all along the South Bank, I thought there were enough already.
I can live with the M & S, but come on, isn't there somebody out there desperate to open a non food/drink establishment in this area??

Wednesday 25 February 2004 3.47pm
Methinks they are principally for the wage-slaves of More London's corporate office tenants. I assume that the first occupants had to carry their caffeine fixes from London Bridge station in the mornings until the recent openings?
Wednesday 25 February 2004 3.59pm
How many caffienne choices do people need?
Mind you, Starbucks has yet to open in this area...I mean the one at the back of London Bridge is so far away.
Unless.... 'More London' are trying to break the record for having 'More' cafes in their space than anywhere else??

Wednesday 25 February 2004 4.02pm
Agree that the corporate chain style café expansion (aka $tarbucks et al) is not such a great thing, but apart from Borough market and the rat race rush hour, SE1 is quite - I like the idea of a Mediterranean style bustling café culture, particularity if they remain open later in the summer evenings (and get licensed for the summer alkies amongst us)
Wednesday 25 February 2004 4.22pm
I'm sure that More London must have a clause banning alcohol in the leases - the dour faced pod people /replicants occupying the grey buildings are surely fuelled by caffeine alone.

Wednesday 25 February 2004 5.31pm
I'm with Matt AND Kyliedog

We never needed (more than a handful of) coffee shops in the first place. The fact that we have so many of them just goes to show that no one listened when they watched field of dreams.

Kevin Costner films don't lie, and when the voices in the corn said "If you build it, they will come", this is just what they meant. I (am probably wierd or something, but I) don't know anyone who needs to have all the coffee these places are selling, and I really don't think any of my friends do either (or else they're keeping it secret).

If we want SE1 to become little America (god forbid!), then roll out more S****bucks.

But if we want SE1 to become little Europe, then all we need is to replace the homes of the coffee nazis with proper, continental-style cafes (i.e. ones where you can get food, and whatever you want to drink, all through the day and night). I realise we may never turn the South Bank into the Med, but we only need to look to Holland (excellent country, very similar climate) to see really good examples of cafes that cater to a broad range of people throughout the day, where the staff do a good job, with a smile and a bit of a professional attitude, and which are not part of a chain.

Cafes = good. Coffee = nothing to do with a good cafe.

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Wednesday 25 February 2004 7.33pm
One question and maybe not a particularly pleasant one but one that needs asking. Just how representative of SE1 is this forum? I don't mean any disrespect and I read/participate as well so the question is aimed at me as well.

But the fact is that SE1's voice (like Kevin's) said "Build it and they will come" and the advice has been taken. It is being built and they are coming, seemingly in an endless stream.

And, horror of horrors, they don't want what is, or maybe was, here - inner city, post industrial grit and church bells. No, what they want is more coffee bars and androgeny. Inner-city suburbia. And they are getting it.

So, the question needs to be asked. Is this forum representative or relevant or just the home of the nay-sayers?


Wednesday 25 February 2004 10.36pm
Thanks Ivanhoe for the compliment about The Netherlands-- but it is true what you say: the chain coffeeshops have turned coffee from a drink into a snack. In The Netherlands coffee is most of all a reason to get together, at whatever time of the day, and have a conversation or read the newspaper. That's exactly what the chain coffeeshops don't offer....'having a coffee' for the Dutch is much more than consuming a drink: it's a social event...
Thursday 26 February 2004 12.04am
More London is like the broad gate arena ,sorry to be blunt but there is nothing there,

The river side should be lined with cafes ,but corporate developments like the broad gate arena attract short opportunistic opening times and are dead at the weekend.

and I like tea

Thursday 26 February 2004 7.51am
Niall, point taken and I suspect that maybe we (as in those who support this snotty "cafe culture") are not socially representative of this areas populous, however broader views would me most welcome if they were represented here, it would certainly liven up the debate
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