Men's lavatory transformed into an underground cafe


March 11, 2013

London residents Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russel have transformed an abandoned public toilet block in London into a cafe

London residents Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russel have transformed an abandoned public toilet block in London into a cafe

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We’re definitely fans of recycling here at Gizmag, but The Attendant is recycling in a way we've rarely seen – and might not want to see again. When London residents Pete Tomlinson and Ben Russell saw a "For Rent" sign outside a disused underground Victorian restroom, they were for some reason inspired to transform the space into a chic urban coffee shop.

No doubt after an intense industrial strength plus clean, the pair started work on the café and even went to the lengths of restoring many of the toilet’s original features, including the tiled walls, flooring and 1890s Doulton & Paisley urinals. The urinals have been polished up and converted into bench style seating for local patrons. While the remodel is quite innovative, we’d hesitate before ordering any cakes.

Suitably named “The Attendant,” the café opened last month and curious (or should I say courageous) Londoners can find it located underground on Foley Street in Fitzrovia.

Source: The Attendant via PSFK

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

"But My Lord, we heard you were the highest peer in the land!"


This is definitely the classiest example of this re-purposing of lavatories, but there is for some reason at least three bars/pubs made in old restrooms in Finland. One of them is even a karaoke bar.

Tiainen Arttu

Great idea! However, I would feel a bit queasy to drink or eat anything in an old lavatory. Of course it has been perfectly cleaned, but still the thought of it.

Jens Kristianson

If you had a few to many then you could really get pissed in one of these places.


The cafe looks sleek and clean. But, I can't figure out the purpose of the slit in the middle of the seat of the bar stools. (Maybe I don't want to know, lol). :-D

Marco Corona

Good grief! As soon as I saw the headline, (no pun intended there!), I immediately thought of the premise of the movie The Producers. Try to find something that will most likely fail, and then abscond with the investor's money when it does. Maybe it will make a profit, maybe it won't. It's just a risk like most anything else in life.


Expanded Viewpoint

What a missed opportunity to be able to drink, and not have to get up and leave, to go for a wiz.

Run supply lines overhead, splitting off to each stall, swipe your card, make a selection, position mouth under dispenser, or optional sterile mouth piece, and enjoy the game played on your personal monitor. Once it needs to get out, discreetly open fly, and recycle. Auto flush takes care of the rest while you refill, not to miss a thing.

Bob Flint

Bob Flint, you've just described The Matrix. ;)

Gregg Eshelman

Don't order the urinal cake.

Fred Borman
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