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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Now a new Nottingham Nero

As I travel by bus and foot through the city of Nottingham I have been aware and, to some extent documented, of a new CaffèNero venue being constructed on the corner of Canal Street and Carrington Street. I prefer this coffee chain out of all the major ones like Costa or Starbucks because the staff are always friendly and seem enthusiastic about their work. Plus they do a darn good cup of coffee and yummy almond croissants. Although it is a chain the venues always have a homely feel.
On a Sunday morning before work I like to sit and relax with a book and a cappuccino at the Caffè Nero in the town of Beeston. I have to say it puts a great start on my day and given the fact that I work every Sunday it is a routine I enjoy. From now on in I shall be taking my coffee at the new branch opposite the bus station. After all it is literally only a few steps away from where I get off my first bus. I popped in tonight on the way home from work and was very impressed with the revamped space and the two guys who served me.
A bit of history for you:

The block in which this Caffè Nero now sits was designed by Gilbert Smith Doughty and built in the period 1896 -1898. I would be fascinated to know what the building was used for the first sixty years and I have been told that the space was a branch of Redmayne and Todd sports shops for about thirty years and in my memory of living in Nottingham I recall it being Branches the furniture shop. If you know of any other occupants to let me know and I'll edit accordingly. Rachel of Caffe Nero says that the space was once occupied by The London Boot Company and also Gunn & Moore who sold sportswear and specialised in cricket gear and the England team were a high profile customer.

Then it was empty for a while until an Indian restaurant started up. This was called Holi and according to some -not very favourable posts on - it was thought of as a poor venue to eat. The main complaints were -indifferent staff - poor and greasy/oily food, sometimes undercooked - no atmosphere in the restaurant - often empty even at peak dining times (an ominous sign!) and the mural of the Holi festival with scary painted up people made diners uncomfortable. There were a couple of favourable reports but not many. The restaurant inevitably closed and the property became a bit of a mess. The space was used for a temporary art space and then a tatty showcase for local colleges. The windows looked a right mess and filthy with the blu-tacked posters and pictures often on the floor.


Then along came signs that the property was going to be developed into something new and more attractive and I began taking photos of the development once I knew it was to be new Caffè Nero. The one below was taken at 6.30am! The lengths I go to entertain my dear readers.


So as I said at the beginning of the post I popped in for twenty minutes tonight between my bus journeys home and immediately felt at home. I'll definitely be back tomorrow on my way to work.
For anyone unfamiliar with Caffè Nero culture - the emphasis is on the Italian and they have a great website at

I've previously written about my Caffè Nero experiences and you may wish to read about them at the links below.

                                           This last picture was taken on the Sunday morning around 8.30am.


Janette Jones said...

I'm ashamed to say that I've never ventured into a Nero and frustratingly have only just come back from Notts but it's on my list to try - I'm more a Starbucks kinda gal!

philip lowe said...

Janette Jones: I think once you have tasted the quality of Caffe Nero coffee Starbucks will become a mere memory - best forgotten. :)

Karen said...

Like Janette, I haven't been into a Cafe Nero....but I don't normally go into coffee shops as I prefer tea, & although they do make tea, they don't often have the type (Darjeeling or Assam) I drink. But I do remember Redmayne & Todd, & it's good to see the building, or part of it, put to good use after being somewhat neglected for a while. It did sell sports stuff, but I remember it best for the place I bought chemicals for my chemistry set from. Way back in 1970/71, you could buy a decent chemistry set, without all the Health & Safety rules you get today. Being mad on science, my Mum finally gave in to my pleading, & I had one for Christmas in 1970. Redmayne's was where I bought extra stocks.....and believe it or not I was able to buy magnesium ribbon, & a host of other delightful goodies. And I was only 14! I did have fun with it all. So no matter what shop is in that building, it always brings to mind chemistry experiments in my Mum's kitchen. In case you wonder, I didn't have any accidents, or cause any damage, apart from making a rather strong stink bomb, which took a while to disperse.