Fall into the void of endless entertainment
London has always outdone itself with the new and the bizarre. And now converting old public toilets into coffee bars is trending.
The Attendant is one such café in Foley Street, Fitzrovia, a short walk from Oxford Street.
It was a gent’s toilet in the 1800s and had been left abandoned for more than fifty years before it was put up for rent.
Jacinta Price, Manager at The Attendant says the owners were sitting across the street in a pub and saw the place was up for rent and thought they would want to open a coffee place there. “It was pure luck,” she says.
The underground café is easy to miss with only an ornate ironwork shell that protects its old, tiled stairwell, standing at ground level.
The stairs lead to a small landing with a wall of graffiti and the toilet attendant’s office from the 19th Century which has now been converted into a seating area.
A long wooden table runs along one wall with the original porcelain urinals from 200 years ago, dividing seating places. Customers drink their coffee one urinal apart.
Miss Price said: “The urinal dividers were left in just as a tourist attraction and it has been working. They were just meant to be a different feature. The owners thought it would be interesting.”
I ordered what turned out to be one of the smoothest and creamiest coffees I have had and did something I never thought I would do. I had coffee in a gent’s toilet.