A mix of old and new gives charming personality and a competitive edge to Avocado Sweets’ latest design for independent coffee shop design, Claud W. Dennis.
Situated next to Southgate tube station, North London, the coffee shop design uses heritage and technology to woo customers in an industry dominated by big brands. The place is named after the renowned property man who ran his business from the site in the early half of the 20th century.
Avocado Sweets’ design revives many of his shop’s original features, found in the building’s loft, including an impressive stain glass front window and advertising signs.
To meet the needs of the modern customer, the fit-out’s cutting-edge technology is deftly incorporated into the vintage look.
A rolling display of the latest train times, streamed through a custom-made app, means commuters can grab a coffee without the worry of missing a train. A bespoke iPad bar, made of reclaimed wood from a school chemistry lab, provides hassle-free surfing, with power and USB points to charge a phone, tablet or laptop. The slick modern iPad design fits neatly in the beautifully-constructed, handmade wooden structure, to create a unique and inviting juxtaposition.
Lighting throughout the design celebrates some of the greatest in British engineering: above the iPad bar the ’50’s Benjamin lights, salvaged from an engineer’s workshop in Holyhead, have a tilted angle that once lit up car production lines.
Above the counters, iconic REVO lights from a Leicester factory illuminate the sumptuous display of cakes, while the imposing hemispherical central pendant has also swapped jobs from its origins lighting up a railway station.
An array of brightly coloured seats give the design a characterful modern edge, while the peg-board display behind the counter adds to the appealing mix of textures found throughout.
Glass table top displays reveal a wealth of reminders of times gone by, from letters and flyers to cigarette packets from Claud W. Dennis’ time in the shop. Meanwhile, vintage factory and railway lighting give the design a timeless feel.
To escape the pressures of the modern world, the coffee shop’s cosy back section incorporates an elegant Victorian fireplace, complete with a carriage clock that chimes each hour. There, customers can browse the enticing range of vintage memorabilia, including a fascinating 1930s rotary pin-wheel calculator.
Creative director, Evros Agathou, says: “Independent coffee shops have to go the extra mile to win loyalty in a market dominated by big brands. At Claud W Dennis, our design is rooted in the area’s history while meeting the needs of the modern customer. By mixing the two we’re creating visually what the owners have set out to achieve – a coffee shop for the local community that aims to stand the test of time.”