Coffee Bars in the 60's

Off-topic discussions, musings and chat
Post Reply
kenneth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu 13 Aug, 2009 8:05 pm

Post by kenneth »

Before I graduated to drinking beer the venue of choice was the coffee bar. In those days I mainly frequented 3 different ones. The Tropica Coffee Bar which was just off Boar Lane, The Del Rio Coffee Bar on Lower Basinghall Street and the La Staega Coffee Bar on Fish Street. The latter is still there and does not look to have changed in the last 45 years. The Tropica Coffee Bar was on the ground floor and by going down the back steps you were in a hot steamy room with a juke box when smooching was allowed. The Del Rio Coffee Bar was a true basement bar with vaulted ceilings. The main cafe in one room and a room next door with a pin table, a table football and a juke box. Again smooching was the order of the day but if you wanted a little more privacy you could always go outside into one of the vacant doorways in Basinghall Street. I got quite a tingle just thinking about it then so there you go, misspent youth. During daytime my cafe of choice was The Kardomah Coffee House on Briggate where Curry's store is now.Anyone else frequent these salubrious places in Leeds?
"The Future is not what it used to be"Regards- Kenneth

dogduke
Posts: 1355
Joined: Thu 03 Jan, 2008 6:47 am

Post by dogduke »

The coffee aroma passing the Kahdoma was amazing in those days.Coffee for the masses was fairly new then,everyone supped tea.Saturday morning shopping with Mam,coffee and a toasted tea cake was a real treat.Not a coffee bar but another Saturday treat after shopping in Schofields was a visit to Betty's Cafe/Shop.Steak pies to take home for later and tea with a hot dog.The bread rolls were impaled on a spike which warmed/toasted the roll inside ready for the hot dog sausage.
Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.90% of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.

kenneth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu 13 Aug, 2009 8:05 pm

Post by kenneth »

dogduke wrote: The coffee aroma passing the Kahdoma was amazing in those days.Coffee for the masses was fairly new then,everyone supped tea.Saturday morning shopping with Mam,coffee and a toasted tea cake was a real treat.Not a coffee bar but another Saturday treat after shopping in Schofields was a visit to Betty's Cafe/Shop.Steak pies to take home for later and tea with a hot dog.The bread rolls were impaled on a spike which warmed/toasted the roll inside ready for the hot dog sausage. Yes Betty's of course were in Leeds then. There was also Collinson's Cafe and Lyons Tea House do you remember them?
"The Future is not what it used to be"Regards- Kenneth

BLAKEY
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 4:42 am

Post by BLAKEY »

There were no less than three J.Lyons and Co. Ltd. teashops in Leeds City Centre.    One was in the Mecca Arcade, and another was at the bottom of Bond Street where it then joined Infirmary Street - the latter was down three steps. The largest of the three "Lyons" was in Briggate next to Marks and Spencer and was on at least two floors, three I think. In addition to a cake shop and coffee house this one was also a restaurant where you would be served by Lyons' famous "nippies" - the universal name for Lyons' correctly dressed waitresses.Down some steps on the south side of Wellington Street (almost opposite the side of the Majestic) was the American Bar - a trendy coffee shop open until very late. When I worked for Samuel Ledgard buses, and our Horsforth/Ilkley teminus was in King Street above the Metropole, we had twelve minutes standing time on the Ilkley service and we used to often nip down there for an enjoyable "cuppa" - the cafe was still open between 1048 and 1100 pm for our last departure to Ilkley. There was also another Kardomah or Collinsons (can't just remember which) in Albion Street, just below the Bond Street/Commercial Street junction. You could watch the beans being machine roasted in the window, and the fabulous aroma was all around.
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.

Trojan
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat 22 Dec, 2007 3:54 pm

Post by Trojan »

When coffee bars first appeared in the late fifties, early sixties, one opened in Morley - on Queen Street below Coffin Corner where the Ho Ho Chinese take away is now. It lasted less than ten years and was called un-originally Expresso Bongo. But it had the mandatory Gaggia machine and served capuccino (frothy coffee we called it in those days) It also had quite a reputation as a den of vice! So much so that my dad forbade me to darken its doors. I'm sure it was exaggerated. Alas I'll never know!
Industria Omnia Vincit

kenneth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu 13 Aug, 2009 8:05 pm

Post by kenneth »

Samuel Ledgard buses, there is a blast from the past. I can remember going to see an relative on one that went up Cardigan Road and another relative was visited courtesy of a Samuel Ledgard who lived in Pudsey. And thank you for reminding me of all the coffee houses and bars in Leeds. Great memories
"The Future is not what it used to be"Regards- Kenneth

BLAKEY
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 4:42 am

Post by BLAKEY »

Kenneth, you have been very fortunate there, I imagine without realising it. Samuel Ledgard had no routes up Cardigan Road unless, on very rare occasions, they were diverted from Headingley Lane/Otley Road in emergencies or major roadworks. I have a few priceless pictures of SL buses in Victoria Road, and at two points in Cardigan Road. So rare were these occasions that, in all my years working there, I was never involved in such treats - lucky you eh ??
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.

kenneth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu 13 Aug, 2009 8:05 pm

Post by kenneth »

BLAKEY wrote: Kenneth, you have been very fortunate there, I imagine without realising it. Samuel Ledgard had no routes up Cardigan Road unless, on very rare occasions, they were diverted from Headingley Lane/Otley Road in emergencies or major roadworks. I have a few priceless pictures of SL buses in Victoria Road, and at two points in Cardigan Road. So rare were these occasions that, in all my years working there, I was never involved in such treats - lucky you eh ?? I feel a Leeds tram thread coming on- cheers
"The Future is not what it used to be"Regards- Kenneth

BLAKEY
Posts: 2556
Joined: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 4:42 am

Post by BLAKEY »

I wouldn't dare Kenneth - these days I try to curb my habit of veering off topics at the slightest chance
There's nothing like keeping the past alive - it makes us relieved to reflect that any bad times have gone, and happy to relive all the joyful and fascinating experiences of our own and other folks' earlier days.

dr martin
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 8:29 pm

Post by dr martin »

. hi.just thought id add,that my mum and dad met at a coffee bar in the sixtes on stanningly road,he bet his mate he could pull her,i bet you wouldent do that in macdonalds these days.
ls28

Post Reply