Tea and bacon sandwich in Café 44. Lovely indie coffee bar with art by Phil Martin lining the walls.
Last week I popped my head into Café 44. It was packed.
I thought the same today. I was the only one there.
I ordered tea and a bacon sandwich. The bacon sandwich was a mistake. Not that there was anything wrong with it, just too much to eat for mid-morning, a scone or a biscuit would have sufficed.
Downstairs the walls were lined with paintings of Lincoln by Phil Martin. Upstairs, via some very narrow and steep stairs reflecting the age of the building, more art. By the entrance, a collection of photos of Lincoln.
Café 44 is worth a visit for the art alone, though polite to have at least a cup of coffee or tea.
Something I have noticed with indie coffee bars, something you will never find in Costa or tax dodging Starbucks, is a love of what they are doing. This was apparent at Café 44 as soon as I walked in the door.
I had chat with who I assumed was the owner and the staff. All were very pleasant and cheerful. What I noticed was they seemed to know their customers not only to greet by name but also by what they would require.
The coffee is Stokes, quality coffee, fair trade. Served in glass, not a mug or a soup bowl.
The cakes are sourced locally, from a coffee shop in Burton Road.
One thing Lincoln has, a lot of indie coffee shops and few chains like Costa or tax dodging Starbucks.
Why go in Starbucks or Costa for rubbish coffee and factory cakes and sit a a cloned corporate coffee shop, when you can be surrounded by real art, sip real coffee and eat home made cakes?
Café 44 is located in Sincil Street more or less opposite the main entrance to the Central Market.
It is tragic that Sincil Street is earmarked for demolition. It is all what remains of the heritage around the Central Market, and even it has been ruined and the market a shadow of its former self. It is heritage that provides opportunities for indie coffee shops like Café 44 and lends character to an area.
Where there is development, there is a lot of money sloshing around. Plus a council lacking in vision and failing to look after the best interests of a thriving local economy.
Contrast threatened destruction of Sincil Street with North Laine in Brighton. A thriving, vibrant local economy full of indie coffee shops like Café 44, a diverse range of small independent retailers, an area of character worth a visit.