If you enjoy eating in the bathroom, you have to check out the Attendant Cafe, in London. Formerly a 19th century public restroom, the underground venue has recently been converted into a gourmet sandwich shop, but retains many of its original decors, including the urinals…
Rising property prices in London are becoming a big problem for would-be homeowners and businesses looking for commercial spaces. But for the few people who can see beyond the smelly history of the city’s abandoned public toilets, converting them into quirky restaurants and bars is proving to be a very cost-effective alternative. One such bold entrepreneur is Peter Tomlinson, who invested most of his savings into turning a 19th century men’s restroom on Foley Street into the Attendant snack bar. Don’t worry, it smells a lot better than it sounds, but patrons looking to enjoy a gourmet sandwich and a hot cup of coffee in this place might be a bit put off by some of the decor elements. For example, the old porcelain urinals have been re-purposed as table tops, so you’re basically enjoying your meals in the exact same place where Londoners used to…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite.
Truth be told, the old lavatory was cleaned quite thoroughly. “Everything has been jet washed and the soil stacks have been concreted and capped. It smells beautiful down here now,” Tomlinson told the BBC. But even after investing a whopping £100,000 ($150,000) into the conversion, the place still looks a lot like an old public toilet, and eating at a urinal wouldn’t exactly stimulate my appetite, regardless of how tasty the Attendant’s sandwiches are. And I bet the food really is tasty, considering it’s prepared by a chef from Michelin-starred restaurant Pollen Street Social.
The Victorian-style cast iron exterior of The Attendant definitely does a great job of attracting attention, but it’s really the interior of the place that’s a big surprise. Opened just last week, this offbeat eatery has the potential of becoming one of London’s most unique tourist attractions.
Photos © Attendant/Facebook