Couple revamps London’s famous red telephone booths as coffee stalls

Couple Loreinis Hernandez and Sean Rafferty said Amar Cafe, which is operated out of two adjacent disused phone boxes in west London.
Loreinis Mejia Hernandez from Colombia reacts at a converted telephone box she runs as a take-away coffee shop with her husband.(Reuters)
Loreinis Mejia Hernandez from Colombia reacts at a converted telephone box she runs as a take-away coffee shop with her husband.(Reuters)
Published on Jun 05, 2020 08:26 PM IST
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LONDON | ByReuters | Posted by: Srimoyee Chowdhury

Two of London’s famous red telephone boxes have been reborn as a coffee stall, and the owners say the lack of inside space that was a drawback when they opened a week before lockdown could now be an asset in a socially distanced capital.

Couple Loreinis Hernandez and Sean Rafferty said Amar Cafe, which is operated out of two adjacent disused phone boxes in west London, was trading for just a week before the city shut down at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were so excited, you know, just starting this business, and then the lockdown came up,” Hernandez said. “We closed for six weeks.”

Loreinis Mejia Hernandez from Colombia serves coffee to a customer at a converted telephone box she runs as a take-away coffee shop with her husband. (Reuters)
Loreinis Mejia Hernandez from Colombia serves coffee to a customer at a converted telephone box she runs as a take-away coffee shop with her husband. (Reuters)

The easing of restrictions this week prompted them to reopen the cafe, which specialises in coffee from Hernandez’s native Colombia.

“We invested everything in these boxes before lockdown,” Rafferty said.

“It was always going be takeaways and maybe it might be better now for us because people would prefer to be outside, sitting in the park.”

While stocks are good for a few weeks, at least, Rafferty and Hernandez are hopeful that the lockdown restrictions in the South American country do not prevent future deliveries.

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