A new café is opening in a London cabmen’s shelter

Every wondered about those little green sheds you see scattered around the city? Dating back to Victorian times, they’re actually cabmen’s shelters, where historically cabbies would stop off for a cup of tea and a snack during their shift. These days, many of them have been converted into cafés, and there’s a new cab shelter café opening on Chelsea Embankment soon. 

Café Pier will take over the disused shelter called The Pier, named after nearby Cadogan Pier. Built in 1910, the shelter had fallen into disrepair in recent years after the introduction of a red route meant that black cabs could no longer stop here. 

Due to its small size (the shelters are only designed to be the length of a horse and cart) the new coffee spot will be mainly takeaway. There will be a small outdoor seating area that has a spectacular view of Chelsea’s Albert Bridge, AKA the big pink one.  

Pier Cafe overlooking Albert Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy of Pier Cafe


As well as hot drinks Café Pier will serve slap-up brunches, with the menu including breakfast toasties made of sourdough with honey, kaymak (Turkish whipped cream) and chilli, or ham with Comte shavings, fudgy eggs, capers and whipped butter. 

Some weekends chefs will also take over the minuscule kitchen for pop-ups, so look out for those. 

At the helm of the new café are Melis Kurum and Cem Kemahli, who’ve teamed up with top Turkish chefs Eduard Kunze-Concewitz, formerly at Mikla in Istanbul, one of the World’s 50 Best restaurants. 

‘These shelters have so much history behind them,’ said Kurum and Kemahli. ‘We are thrilled to be finally opening so Londoners can once again enjoy this charming landmark.’

Café Pier opens on June 10. 

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