The cafe with no name

Lawrence making my mocha

Lawrence making my mocha

I first met Lawrence on the Dunwich Dynamo in 2008, during the final lung-busting dash, once people pass the ‘Dunwich – 7 miles’ sign, imagine they can smell the sea, and crank up to race pace (forgetting that seven miles is actually quite a long way to ride at 20mph+, especially when you already have a century behind you). I was in good shape that year, so stormed past quite a few people on my pink Surly Steamroller (RIP), before getting stuck with Lawrence (on his old-skool Lemond gearie), with whom I was so well matched that we were neck and neck all the way to the beach. (Naturally I won in the end, otherwise I wouldn’t be telling this story.)

We celebrated over breakfast, and I quickly discovered Lawrence’s twin obsessions: bicycles and coffee. I’ve never quite worked out how many of the former he owns – he rarely appears on the same one twice, and is always trying to sell them off to make room for more. Nor have I worked out how much of the latter he drinks, though given that he is one of the loudest, chattiest and most unremittingly enthusiastic people I know, I suspect it’s quite a lot.

And ever since I first met him he’s been talking about uniting these two loves, and setting up a cyclists’ cafe somewhere in London, hoping that it would become beloved of bicycle and coffee fans alike, and planning to lure the courier community in with the promise of cheap coffee, a track pump, and somewhere to hang out when it’s raining.

Of course, the longer he talked about it, the more sceptical I became that it would actually ever happen. But then, about a month ago, he announced that he’d finally found the premises he was looking for, and within a couple of weeks he’d installed himself, a coffee machine, a workstand and an ever-increasing supply of second-hand bicycles – and suddenly I’m being offered a free coffee every morning!

It’s early days still – as yet the cafe has little in the way of interior design, and no name (though I believe he has something in mind). But he’s already shifted quite a few bikes (he’s connected to a workshop in Fulham, and is one of the few sources of decent second hand bikes I know who doesn’t have the whiff of Brick Lane). And his coffee is quite amazing – he made me a mocha this morning, and must have put extra KAPOW! in it, because I was simply flying for the first few hours.

Oh yes, and the all-important details: he’s at 74 Leather Lane, EC1 – just off Clerkenwell Road. All drinks are currently £1 (or 75p for couriers). And there are quite often flapjacks baked by yours truly (chocolate and cranberry tomorrow), all proceeds to the LCEF.

The cafe with no name

The cafe with no name

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9 Responses to “The cafe with no name”

  1. Fixup Says:

    Is this still in existence?

  2. Cycle cafes « EX-MESSENGER OF DOOM. Bastard bicyclist's blog's a big bag of bollocks. Says:

    […] just a stand in the street, but it’s an actual cafe. And bloody hell it’s small. Click this link to have a look at the cafe with no […]

  3. thatmessengerchick Says:

    Oh yes – and it has a name now, and everything! It’s called Fullcity (which is apparently something to do with roasting coffee beans), and it’s a wonderful jumbled chaos of bikes, blokes, latex gloves, and very good, very cheap coffee. I’ll try and find some photos, and put up a proper post about it tomorrow.

  4. Fixup Says:

    Apparently full city is the roast level before Italian roast… fairly dark but not quite as dark as your average Italian espresso. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_roasting

  5. Fullcity – so much more than a bike shop that also serves coffee « thatmessengerchick Says:

    […] – so much more than a bike shop that also serves coffee By thatmessengerchick Way back in October, I told you about my friend Lawrence, and his idea of starting a cyclists’ cafe, which […]

  6. Roadkill « thatmessengerchick Says:

    […] here’s another illustration. Recently Lawrence got back from supporting his friend Ashley through part of the Race Across America – the […]

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