Friday, 25 August 2017

The little café which escaped me (and nearly everyone else)

I know what I said about more posts but when the café at Beeston Station steamed into view I had to give it a post all of its own.

Beeston railway station has a little café named, well, I'm not sure what. Type in Beeston Station cafe and two names come up: 'Rose Café' and 'Cafe 1839', the latter of which appears to be the current name as far as the new owner of the business is concerned, but, as of yet, there is no clear signage as to name.

At the end of the day a café's name matters little if the drinks and food are good, especially when it has a location as good as Beeston railway station (which suggests an obvious name 'The Station Café').

I took this pic yesterday when I went in search of the café. By chance this little train was leaving as I arrived. You can see a 'Cafe Open' sign to the right of the picture.

Cassy here has recently taken the café over, so it's still early days and she's trying to find her feet. It doesn't help being August, it being a holiday month. She's trying to make passengers and those meeting them more aware of her little café. If I had to describe it in a word it would be 'snug'. Four customers and it would be crowded, but there is the platform and that is where waiting passengers will probably want to be — an experience made immeasurably better with a cup of Cassy's coffee or hot chocolate and a generously filled panini.

There is another sign outside which again gives no indication as to name. I know I've just asked if the name really matters and I suspect, on reflection, it helps — why else would businesses spend a fortune on branding (and re-branding)?

A chance web-search found The Nottingham Food Blog's post for February 2013 and the then Beeston Station Rose Café, since when it has come and gone a few times. The above photograph comes from the post, which said:

Even before we left the station at Beeston I had spotted somewhere to get some food, and if it was not for the fact that we were heading to the Victoria for lunch I would most probably have stopped in there for a little snack. “Cafe Rose” nearly pulled me in with that little green star offering a Hot Roast Chicken and Stuffing roll for £2, further down the board there was the offer of Lasagne for £1.40, although it does say ‘from’ £1.40 so I wonder if you pay by the layer or by the bite? I will find out one day. Apart from all that the note that ‘All produce homemade’ made me happy that it was not just another generic coffee chain housed in the station.
I don't who is The Nottingham Food Blogger, but back in 2013 I was still in Lenton doing my Parkviews blog. If I can find a name I will add it. I would also like to know if he or she ever returned to taste the lasagne?
I suspect I am not the only person to stand on Beeston Station countless times and not notice the café. One of my all time favourite cafés is at Moor Street railway station in the centre of Birmingham. I love it best in from about October to March and I have had a visit in mind for a little while now, just to drink coffee, eat, write and look. Beeston Station has similar feel and how I would love for Sassy to have a larger café because in just one short meeting I established the fact that she has the temperament to run a cafe.
Well, now like me, you know about the little café at Beeston railway station. In a few minutes Cafe 1839 will makes its first appearance on my latest Beeston vertical map. I hope it stays there for a long time and I wish Sassy every success.
One final thought for Sassy to consider. How about one tasty signature item of food? — a bit like Jo's Pork Goulash at the Local not Global deli on Chilwell Road or Laura's poached eggs at Time for Tea on Wollaton Road — something which will bring customers in even they have no intention of catching or meeting a train.
A FOOTNOTE: 1839 is the year Beeston railway station opened. The reference to 1847 on the station building is to the year the building was erected.

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