Step Back In Time To London’s 1950s Coffee House Craze
Take a trip back to 1950s Soho with this brilliantly odd, and sometimes hilarious, film from the Look at Life team.
The year is 1959, and our narrator is tackling the subject of London’s coffee house boom.
There are a few supremely stilted actors helping him with his task, but if you can look past them, you’ll get an amazing glimpse of another era.
According to the video, London’s coffee bar boom kicked off in 1952, when the first espresso machine arrived in Soho. (We can’t help wondering if the ragazzi at Bar Italia u2014 operating in Soho since 1949 u2014 might have something to quibble about here….)
If the new coffee craze was indeed a boom time for coffee house owners, it was a shaky one: for every three coffee houses opening in the 1950s, the film suggests two closed down.”