The café-bar at New River Studios is one of the few food and drink outlets in the Warehouse District. It provides a funky and fun environment in which to relax and socialise.
On my first visit, I couldn’t help but think, ‘I am far too old and uncool to be here.’ As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. The café and adjoining hire spaces are quirky yet welcoming to all.
Although a beverage was the reason for my initial visit, this spacious venue is much more than that. The venue hosts everything from retro-gaming open nights and live music to a drop-in session on local traffic research (the latter being the reason for one of my more recent visits).
The friendly and laid-back staff, headed by manager Marion, serve coffees and stronger stuff from behind a super-cool bar made of recycled wooden doors and flanked by a DJ station.
Prices are very reasonable. Moist and chunky vegan brownies are on sale for no more than £1.50, and the Wi-Fi is free.
The kitchen is home to different pop-ups. Recently in residence were the duo of Alex and Guilia, serving up Italian street food under the name of Orso.
I spoke with Alex through the open kitchen hatch as he kneaded dough for the evening’s offering, a big hunk of pizza. Orso is making the rounds of summer food festivals, including Crouch End (where I spotted them serving up calzone fritti), Ally Pally and the King’s Road.
Usually resident on the sofa is Bagel the Cat, who seems to be able to sleep unperturbed by the activity all around.
The venue sits amongst other industry units, and faces onto the New River on Eade Road. Perch on a chair outside in the good weather or inside in the cozy café, and settle in for business or pleasure. It’s a locale worth seeking out.
Words: Julie Ann Andreshak
Photos: Tom Devine