On Foley and Great Titchfield Streets in London, there was an underground public men’s restroom built in the 1890′s accessible via its own caged entrance in the middle of the sidewalk. There were quite a few of these facilities built at the time which were used until the 1960′s, when they were locked up and left in disuse for the next 50 years.
A few years ago, the city sold off these odd spaces to various enterprises. In the case of the underground toilet on Foley Street, some restaurateurs took it over and have turned the abandoned urban outhouse into a remarkably pleasant little espresso cafe.
It’s called “The Attendant.” Just another public toilet turned into coffee shop. Here are some pics. The first one we snagged from Google Street View. It’s the green cage on the sidewalk! (And never mind that Google Street View thinks that parking sign in the coffee shop.)
Now from The Attendant’s FaceBook page, with their notes:
12 layers of paint dating back to 1890 were painstakingly removed over an 8 month period!
The battered stairwell has been transformed!
We knocked down just one wall. Otherwise it was a big clean and polish job!
Original Doulton & Paisley urinals made in Lambeth around 1890…. Mr Doulton went on to become quite famous!
Urinal bank seating with vintage mercury lighting from Napa Valley, CA.
Converted 1890s Victorian gentlemans toilet.
Too dang nice. Can’t wait to go! (Not that kind of “go”…hrrm.)
• Some architectural history behind similar public toilets in Aberdeen, Scotland.
• An a London Underground Toilet Map (pdf). Just in case you need it.