Author Topic: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's  (Read 66017 times)

Phil

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Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« on: December 10, 2009, 05:03:00 PM »
Coffee Houses & cafes, we all used them when we were kids. I spent most of my earlier teenage years in Balsall Heath it seemed that there was at least two coffee bars on each street there. The main function of these coffee bars in that area being bases for ladies of the evening, working girls or just plain scrubbers whatever the name you used for them.
Putting all that to one side, for us as kids they were exiting places. No adults to tell us what we could or couldn’t do, plenty of loud up to date music and discounting the aforementioned ladies a good mix of the sexes. Now I know most of the young girls I knew in these places were not supposed to have been there at all, they had more than likely told their parents they were going somewhere else.
I know that these places were frowned upon by our parents, but I think they did a good job of keeping us off the streets at night, even if they didn’t keep us out of bad company.
So what was your favourite cafe or coffee bar. There were all sorts, from the El Sombrero on Bristol St to the El Greco in Nechells and the Medina in Balsall Heath. What did you think of your favourite one and what did you get up to there.
Phil
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roy one

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 05:44:38 PM »
hi Phil
         i think most of us used coffee bars in the 60 like you said it kept us off the streets and in b/h Lady's of the night used them to most had a juke box and pinball m/c that you could play but most of all it was a meeting place and most folk knew each other  i used one or two my self smokey's northfield bonanza  last chance Aston and two on the Soho road hands worth  the riviera was one and one by the blackhorse on the stratford road  and now and then the boundary cafe by westbrom football ground
each day is a blessing and I bless each day when it comes

9teen48

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2009, 09:14:03 PM »
Phil,
 
Around 1965-1966 I worked at the Snow Hill end of Summer Lane and some days we walked around the corner onto Constitution Hill to the Surfside Stop, which I recall as a long, narrow coffe bar and I think there was a basement part as well.  They had a juke box and it was one way of hearing the great records of the day when you had a lunchtime break from work.  Once it caught on we had quite a crowd going in for coffees and I remember some of the girls had "Russian Tea", served in a tall glass beaker with sliced lemon.  That was the first time I saw that. I also have an idea that Johnny Prescott used to go in there at lunchtimes.
 
Brian

tramp

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 04:06:03 PM »
In the late 50s, I went to one on Bristol Rd whose name I've forgotten and 'La Fiesta' in town - then I did something useful with my time by joining the army!

9teen48

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 08:35:37 PM »
Phil,
 
El Sombrero pictured here and some shots of York Cafe in York Road King's Heath which I took in April 1999. Tom's barber shop was run by a Polish hairdresser and his son in the early 1960s.
 
Brian

tramp

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 10:42:43 PM »
Hi 9teen48,
 
Thanks for the snap of El Sombrero...wasted a few tanners there 50 years ago!
 
tramp

Phil

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 10:49:34 PM »
tramp and Brian
 
Heres a little bit better photo, Brian was you photo like that or did you somehow crop half of it off in error.
 
Phil
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9teen48

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2009, 11:09:10 PM »
Hi Tramp and Phil,
 
My photo of the Sombrero is how you see it - thanks Phil for posting a much better image.
 
Brian

Phil

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Re: Café's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2009, 11:15:55 PM »
Brian
 
A couple more coffee bars. These two were on Broad Street and definitely were not the type that your mother would have liked you going in to. They were both all nighters and just right for when you staggered out of the Rum Runner in the early hours.
 
The Tow Rope & The Rendezvous.
 
Phil
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9teen48

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2009, 11:24:33 PM »
Phil,
 
Great pictures - if you had asked me to name two coffee bars on Broad Street I couldn't have remembered any, but as soon as there is a picture it all comes back.
 
Brian

Phil

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Re: Cafe's & Coffee Bar's
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2009, 11:29:22 PM »
Brian
 
I couldn't possibly forget those two. I spent so many nights in there in 66 & 67. After and before the Runner & the Ringway. If I wasn't in any of those I was in the Crown not Broad St Station St.
 
Phil
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