Well this hasn't got our bank holiday off to a good start.
We've just got wind that Scootercafe — the retro Vespa-themed coffee/cocktail bar on Lower Marsh in Waterloo — is set to hang up its tyres, after 22 years.
"To all our loyal customers - we have come to the end of the road," says a message on Scootercafe's FB page, adding that "fire safety regulations got the better of us".
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A photo of a note put up inside the cafe — which is known for its vintage furniture, excellent coffees made on a big old bit of Gaggia kit, and live music sessions — elaborates, saying: "Scootercaffe has been forcibly shut down by the fire safety authorities. The building is old and tired and must be completely renovated meaning the cafe as it has been for the last 22 years will no longer exist."
Just a couple of days ago, the cafe had announced it would close "for a few weeks to upgrade a few things".
Everything is not lost though; the people behind the cafe also run the brilliant boho joint Cable Cafe Bar, round the corner from Oval station (we were at one of their jazz nights lately, and it's like stepping into 1960s Greenwich Village).
"We might have to rename it ScooterCable," say Scootercafe's owners. Rebranded or not, make sure you go and spend your pennies here — independent joints like this are way too precious to lose.
With thanks to Laurie Ayres for bringing this to our attention.