Dean Street Cafe
Tuesday 21 Feb 2017
Dean Street Cafe at Centrepoint by Nina+Co.
On a well trodden path of Soho eateries, there is a new offering doing things a little bit differently. Dean Street Cafe is a sustainable enterprise on many levels: from the seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, to the sourcing of materials & furniture, to helping young people out of the cycle of homelessness.
The social enterprise cafe is nestled inside a historic building first designed in 1686 by Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St Paul's Cathedral, on what was then a part of English countryside named Soho Fields. Centrepoint began life as a youth homelessness charity in this space fifty years ago and has been a vital part of the fabric of this area of London ever since.
The new interior enables the space to fulfil a wide range of functions and maximise the efficiency of their operations. Flexibility was a key part of the brief, since the space has different uses during the week. The space’s shifting use is easily enabled by folding, stacking, moveable furniture. A giant peg board wall with removable shelves and pegs also conceals large storage cupboards in which the furniture can stack away. Reversible panels conceal the serving area during the week and are flipped over and hung on the cafe walls to reveal chalkboard menus during the café’s weekend opening hours.
Bespoke, builtin seating at the windows is optimized to views out to bustling Soho and to draw the attention of passersby. Plants and unique lighting add life and warmth to the space. To minimise the building waste and environmental impact, interior designers Nina+Co took care to use as much of the existing space and structure as possible and to carefully source all new materials. New joinery is made from reclaimed English oak or birch ply from sustainably managed forests. The hand mixed, low odour paint is made locally as are the fabrics and upholstery. The loose furniture is carefully curated selection of second hand items from the UK. All the lighting is bespoke, lowenergy and made in the UK.
Sourcing his ingredients from the market stall holders of Berwick Street just around the corner, Chef and Cafe Manager Dean Masters is creating a fresh, wholesome and seasonal offering. As well as serving a menu fit to rival that of it’s neighbours in an area world renowned for it’s restaurants and cafes, Dean will provide training and experience to Centrepoint’s young people, helping them to gain the skills needed to find employment in the catering and hospitality industry.