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Clare's Corner: The first coffee shop in Wells

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: December 15, 2013


The first coffee shop in Wells opened more than a hundred years ago

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AS with many happenings in Wells, one of the most recent being the opening of another coffee shop in the High Street, the Wells Journal has seen it all before.

The Journal of February 19, 1880, reported the opening of Wells' very first coffee shop, a place to give the "non-drinking" man a social outlet away from the many inns, taverns, beer shops and hotels of the city. The story read:

The friends of temperance and total abstinence in Wells will be glad to know that a Coffee Tavern will be established in this city.

A coffee house for the working man is to be opened in St John Street.

The subscribers of this place will be the principal residents in the city with the Bishop of Bath and Wells at its head.

The room is to be supplied with daily papers and games are to be allowed, but no gambling is to be allowed.

No wine or other spirituous or intoxicating liquor is to be sold and coffee is priced at 1d to 3d a cup.

A large basin of nourishing soup can be had at dinnertime for 2d.

Airiness, brightness and comfort will characterise the establishment.

Clare Blackmore

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