CB2: from the beginning


On 1999, March 30th, CB2 staff arrived for the day to find the premises flooded by a faulty water supply. For the next two to three weeks the Café will be closed while being dried out and re-decorated.

Update (22nd April, 1999)

Drying-out is still in progress -- another week or so, the humidity consultant reckons

Now open again! (1st May, 1999)

I'm pleased to announce that CB2 has re-opened today!

You could suspect a slight bias in this as I'm the proprietor's brother, but in fact I think it's quite a fair description.

First opened yesterday (1999, March 24th) afternoon; I think the opening "bash" is scheduled a couple of weeks into April, though.

I'd naively assumed it would be on a similar scale to CB1, and had a bit of a surprise when I first saw inside -- it's vast (relatively speaking). It's on three floors: downstairs is non-smoking, in an L-shape, with the bit along the front being mostly Cafe, and the bit going back (slightly raised) being mainly Restaurant, but there are no restrictions on what you can eat and where. Upstairs is also L-shaped, and has smoking (but there are extractor fans, so I don't think it'll be as smoky as CB1). There are (coffee) bars on both these floors. A with-meals drinks licence has been applied for, but hasn't come through yet. BYO OK, though.

On both these floors there are quite a few IMacs, and there are a few PCs too. (I think it's 10 IMacs including the 2 cash registers, and I think he said 7 PCs although I've not spotted that many). The data wiring provides for up to 60 machines!

As at CB1, there's a wide choice of second-hand books, and the menu / leaflet specifically says you're welcome to read them there, as well as to buy them.

There is some involvement of Ad-Hoc guides, and I think the browsers on the machines start up on that web site. (I think they're investors, a bit like CityScape were at the start of CB1.)

The bit of the basement going back from the street, although technically signed off from being a building site, still isn't quite ready, but will be the main bookable function room. (The front of the basement has too low a ceiling for public use, and is storage etc.)

The loos are labelled "CB2 WC1" etc. Baby nappy-changing facilities etc provided.

No on-line ordering yet, but at some stage it may be possible to mail or CGI your order before setting out. I've tried the Café menu (OK, with a nice house dressing on the salad) and the full English Breakfast (fantastic), and a restaurant menu dish (very good -- full restaurant quality).

I've taken some photos, and hope to get some of them scanned in soon.


CB2 is at the East Road end of Norfolk Street, near the end of Burleigh Street and just a few minutes walk from the Warner Brothers' cinema.

CB1 continues, too!

CB1 is continuing as normal, with Tom, the main ``footsoldier'', becoming manager.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007