Holly McWhorter

London's Hip New Cafe Used to be a Victorian-Era Public Toilet

by , 03/11/13

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If the thought of sipping an espresso amongst urinals doesn’t gross you out, then we’ve got a café for you: Attendant, the newest arrival on London’s booming coffee bar scene. When owners Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russell noticed a “for rent” sign on an abandoned, underground, Victorian-era public toilet in London’s posh Fitzrovia neighborhood, they checked it out and decided it would be the perfect place for an espresso bar. Talk about adaptive reuse!


london coffee shop, london, coffee shop, london cafe, london espresso, public toilet renovation, attendant cafe, london attendant, the attendant, attendant coffee, adaptive reuse

Their renovation was surprisingly minimal: After knocking down a single wall, all that was required was a deep (really deep) industrial-strength cleaning, a bit of paint, and the addition of some cleverly-placed furnishings. The original Doulton & Co. porcelain urinals from the 1890s were left in place as seating dividers along the wooden countertop. Meanwhile, the original sign adorning the bathroom attendant’s closet now opens up to Tomlinson and Russell’s office.

The finished product is a welcoming and quirky spot for some delicious, locally-sourced fare and espresso. Check out before-and-after photos in our gallery, and learn more about the cafe on their Facebook page.

+ Attendant

Via PSFK

Photos ©Facebook / The Attendant

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