Anyone that knows me won’t be surprised that I spend most of my free time in a Coffee shop. You can’t beat a good brew and a slice of cake whether it’s in your lunch hour, after a shopping trip or even if it’s over a catch up with the girls, I will use any excuse! So, when I heard that there was a new one opening in my local town, ‘Outdated’, I made a trip down to try it out. Much to my delight, I soon found that stepping in there was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back in time! It’s vintage decor and retro style gives the place a relaxing ambience and you soon forget the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre outside! The classic furniture also adds to the character of the place as each piece has its own story. Martin, (one of the owners) tells me that they bought the furniture from local charity shops and that the people of the local community helped out by donating unwanted or used items. I found this fascinating that the local people had helped him to succeed in creating a relaxed space where you can have a good brew! I also couldn’t believe that they had a bright red retro record player playing sixties, seventies and eighties music in the background whilst you are sipping on your tea! It added to the relaxing atmosphere and was something I had never witnessed before in a coffee shop! Now if you love the ‘good old days’, which my Nana would always go on about, then you would be in your element here as Elvis, The Beatles and Buddy Holly are singing away whilst you have a good old chin-wag. When the coffee shop isn’t too busy, Martin will ask customers what record they want to listen to and allow them to choose one from his collection. Again, something I had never witnessed before in a coffee shop and made the experience more of a personal one.
If you are a book lover like me, you’d be amazed by the book collection which the cafe also boasts. Martin explains how the community can donate their unwanted books to the cafe and swap and borrow them from one another. For me, there is no better way to relax than with a good book to read! I was fascinated by the radio on the book shelf and Martin explained how a regular customer brought it in and told them it was from the 1950’s. He chose to put it on the book shelf so that he could look at it every time he visited! I found that lovely that the cafe was on a more personal level with its customers as opposed to popular chain coffee shops.
As I have lived in the town all my life, I knew the building had a lot of history and was interested if Martin knew anything about it. He explained how the building was a listed building and was often visited and worked on by Edgar Wood, architect, artist and draftsman from Middleton, (1860–1935) who was a coffee drinker himself and whom Martin believes would be happy that part of the building is used for a cafe!
After asking a few regular customers what they liked the most about the coffee shop, I learnt that they all said similar things. That being, they felt they were in a ‘home from home’ and that they felt they were almost sat in their own living room. They had succeeded in creating a space in which you can leave your day to day worries behind and embark on a wonderful journey back to the ‘good old days’!
Written By Natalie Jones