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Why Many Public Toilets in London are Turning into Cafes

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Anees, Oct 8, 2014.

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  1. Anees

    Anees Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Why Many Public Toilets in London are Turning into Cafes
    World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: October 08, 2014 16:44 IST
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    [​IMG]
    Original urinals and cisterns in "Attendant", a former public toilet that has been converted into a coffee shop in London. (AFP)


    Others have chosen less literal names like "The Attendant" and the "Cellar Door" cabaret, both in the city centre.

    The trend has "picked up recently", according to Rachel Erickson, whose job organising guided tours of the city's working public toilets has earned her the nickname "Lady Loo".

    Jayke Mangion, 34, who opened "WC" in July, explained that "the government has been pushing the councils to use all empty places to generate revenues".

    Whether it be derelict toilets or abandoned underground stations, many more unusual sites are coming on the market, offering far more affordable rents than traditional addresses.

    Days of scrubbing

    Housed in a Victorian subterranean toilet block attached to Clapham Common underground station, "WC" has kept its original mosaic floor and tiled walls and the woodwork has been fashioned into tables and intimate alcoves.

    The old urinals are no longer in use but have stayed on as decor in the new bathrooms.

    Katie Harris, owner of "The Convenience" -- a restaurant by day and bar by night -- has instead made the porcelain pots a feature, supporting the wooden bar.

    The 30-year-old explained that she did not want "deny it was a toilet" but also was wary of making the space "too toilety".
    Yellowed urinals were taken out as they were considered "too peey" for customers, while the others were scrubbed for days to reveal a gleaming white porcelain.

    As well as the attractive rents, Harris, who is also a designer, said that she chose the space for the professional challenge it posed, and because of its simple 1940s architecture.

    "It is important to preserve these places, to make them places for the community," she said.

    Ryan De Oliveira, who runs "The Attendant" cafe, added: "To give a new life to something previously unused, it pushes the boundaries."

    The former financier also embraced his building's history, turning the 1890s toilet cisterns into flower pots and keeping the urinals in place.

    "The coffee is very good, there's a nice atmosphere and it's an original location," said one client, Laurent.

    At "WC", Philip, 35, suggested that the use of original fittings "adds to the charm of the place".

    "It gives it a cosy feel and it doesn't smell anymore, so it's all good. I like it," he said.

    Wine bar owner Mangion said that despite the expensive refurbishments, there is still plenty of down-to-earth toilet humour with customers.

    Why Many Public Toilets in London are Turning into Cafes
     
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  2. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Apparently the food is sh*t.
     
  3. kiduva21

    kiduva21 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    you really surprised me . i was expecting some anti India stuff...:hmm:
     
  4. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Heh, well I have to put up with anti-British stuff all day long just because some die-hards want to believe the Typhoon is shit.
     
  5. HMS Astute

    HMS Astute BANNED BANNED

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    I respect this kind of people with bloody brilliant ideas. What a fantastic business!
     
  6. omya

    omya Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    who will even eat here
     
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  7. HMS Astute

    HMS Astute BANNED BANNED

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    Poor immigrants, drunk students, hungry commuters, travellers who like a change, new experience and atmosphere.

    As London is the most visited city in the world, no doubt this toilet restaurant is packed with plenty of customers everyday.
     
  8. omya

    omya Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    you drunk or got a big mouth ?
     
  9. HMS Astute

    HMS Astute BANNED BANNED

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    Come visit Sicily, Italy and see how we roll.
     
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