Thursday, February 07, 2008
Northern Quarter coffee wars
What's with all the coffee? There's a new caffenero/starbucks/costa on practically every street, and we're even finally getting some more good independents. Two opened recently in the Northern Quarter, and I went and checked them out:
CUP is very nice indeed... a big, light and airy storefront cafe on Thomas Street with previous occupants Vox Pop records crammed into the back. The place reminded me a bit of the much-missed Suburb, but quirkier. Cup's menu had a small but fairly nice selection of soups and sarnies - I had scrambled eggs and fake bacon on a bagel, which hit the spot. And they sell Tunnock's teacakes there, so I was happy. Forgot to ask if they have wireless though.
This place is going to be deservedly popular, so I'd suggest swapping a few tables of merchandise for eating tables; the five they had in there the day I visited with Mancubist didn't cut it. And as much as I love designy china sets, I love smoothies named after Iggy Pop more. (photo courtesy Flickr user Marky1969.)
Interestingly, right next door is the newest incarnation of Love Saves the Day, competing for your Latte alliegance. You'll remember the original one in Tib Street became the massive one on Oldham Street which then closed. And what makes it interesting is that, for a while, LSTD was running a cafe concession in Vox Pop, which is now CUP.
Whatever. It's the same lovely people serving the same lovely drinks and snacks in a joint that's considerably more stripped-down and cosy than their last digs on Oldham Street. And unlike the one on Deansgate, you can actually sit down in there without worrying about barking your shins on a rip-roaringly expensive vat of single estate olive oil. And along with Odd and Trof there are now four or five places to caff up on Thomas Street that weren't there a year or two ago. Good stuff.