How Many Is Too Many?
Elaine tells me that Laura, of the Nevada Street Deli, has been told by the council that she can only seat a maximum of eight customers in her delightful, but tiny, cafe and that’s got me to thinking. How many is too many in a cutesy little cafe that sells gorgeous food but is, frankly, very small?
I love the place – it looks good, the people are friendly and the food’s wonderful (though the ‘deli’ does seem to get smaller and smaller in comparison to the ‘cafe’). I am particularly fond of the savoury pastries, and I will be forever grateful for the the embarrassing time when I managed to order (and receive) a takeaway coffee before I realised I’d brought no money. Laura just gave me the beverage, though of course I was so mortified that I rushed straight round to the cashpoint to rectify the issue.
It’s always a toss-up, though, as to whether I’ll get a seat or have to move on elsewhere. Like other favourite cafes – Royal Teas, Buenos Aires, Red Door, I have to take my chances, and that’s part of the charm of it. It’s small. But that doesn’t mean I want to be squashed in like a sardine, just to get a place.
How many can a place this size realistically seat, one wonders? The council says eight, which I think is too few. Elaine tells me they can seat twelve to fifteen ‘comfortably’. I’m not sure I agree with that either. I’d like to know what you think. And whether you count the dreaded pushchairs in that figure.
Part of it comes down to whether or not there are large parties. People who know each other are much happier to squash up together than total strangers. That’s what makes us British. You could have a birthday tea for twenty all together and be quite happy one day. Another, one snogging couple, a pair of old ladies, one lone Phantom, a couple of mums and accompanying pushchairs and you’re full. Less of a problem in the summer, of course, when those lovely pavement tables are at a premium.
So – how many would you say is ‘too many?’
Oh – and while the council’s exercising its brain, how about allowing the deli to open for pre-theatre snacks occasionally? Or the theatre could up its game. Either would do for me. Or – how’s about this – Laura could expand and provide pre-theatre yummies IN the theatre. I’m sure an agreement could be reached…
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