The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel | Open Culture

To understand how the coffee-house culture we know across the world today took its shape, we have to look back to London in the late 1950s, specifically as captured in the Look at Life newsreel on the city’s bohemian coffee house boom just above.

“Coffee is big business,” says its narrator, over a montage of neon signs advertising places like The Coffee House, Las Vegas Coffee Bar, Heaven & HELL Coffee Lounge, and La Roca. “The coffee bar boom in Britain began in 1952, when the first espresso machine arrived from Italy and

Source: The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel | Open Culture

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2 thoughts on “The Birth of London’s 1950s Bohemian Coffee Bars Documented in a Vintage 1959 Newsreel | Open Culture

  1. These ‘Look at Life’ clips are priceless. I was a little too young for the first coffee bars, but it’s great to see the ‘Beatniks’, and the people looking uncomfortable being filmed too. The overblown rhyming slang man was hilarious. As if anyone would have ever talked like that!
    I had my share of so-called ‘frothy coffee’ later on though, always served in shallow glass cups..
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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