Public Washroom Now Popular Lunch Spot with Londoners
When I first heard about public toilets being used as a cafe, the image that sprang to mind was some bizarre, unsanitary flash mob or art installation. It turns out it’s a much more serious affair where people line up to enjoy a meal in the comfort of a Victorian urinal.
The Attendant is a tiny cafe in London’s Fitzrovia neighbourhood whose premises started out as underground conveniences for men in the nineteenth century. The facilities were shuttered for half a century until Pete Tomlinson, a patron of the adjacent pub, satisfied his curiosity about what the stairs outside the pub led to, and eventually renovated the 390-square-foot space into a cafe. Many of the original fixtures were kept and repurposed because, like many things from a bygone era, they are beautiful and well made. The cafe’s name is derived from the name on the door to the kitchen, which used to be the attendant’s stall.