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Coffee bar The Waiting Room to open in former bus waiting room in Sandwich


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A coffee bar serving everything from hot drinks to cocktails is opening in an historic building in Sandwich.

The Waiting Room, in Cattle Market and next to Ossie's Fish and Chips, is being pegged as a cafe-cum-wine bar and is expected to open at the end of this month.

This 100 year old bus waiting room in Sandwich is being converted into a coffee bar. Picture: Jack Humphreys
This 100 year old bus waiting room in Sandwich is being converted into a coffee bar. Picture: Jack Humphreys

Manager Jack Humphreys, from Deal, wants to open the doors to the new eatery for the first time on May 30 - exactly 100 years to the day from when the building was first opened.

It was originally used as a waiting room and ticket office owned by bus firm, East Kent Road Car Company - which was eventually taken over by Stagecoach.

A plaque on the wall reads: "Erected by the East Kent Road Car Company Limited; and opened by His Worship the Mayor of Sandwich on the 30th May 1922."

The Grade II listed building was used as a waiting room until 1992.

Businessman Malcolm Waite, who owns several family-run car showrooms in the Dover district, bought the building in 1993, and it has been used as storage ever since.

The shelter first opened 100 years ago this month, on May 30 1922
The shelter first opened 100 years ago this month, on May 30 1922

But work is now underway to transform it into the new 'coffee bar' - with plumbing and electrics being updated, and a kitchen being fitted.

Mr Humphreys, 35, said: "The Waite family have owned the building for decades and have now decided to turn it into a hospitality venue.

"I joined in April to help turn the dream into a reality.

"We want to serve at least one coffee on May 30, as the building first opened on May 30, 1922.

"So we will be turning the lights on the day and all the coffee machines on to mark the 100 year anniversary.

"We'll then have a soft launch over the Queen's Jubilee bank holidays, and then will open properly after that.

General manager Jack Humphreys
General manager Jack Humphreys
The former East Kent Road Car Company Waiting Room, pictured in 2014. Picture: Chris Davey
The former East Kent Road Car Company Waiting Room, pictured in 2014. Picture: Chris Davey


"It will be a coffee bar, but we also have a license to serve alcohol, so a cross between a cafe and a wine bar.

"We'll serve coffees and teas in the day with sandwiches, toasties, waffles and crepes and then wine in the evenings with cheese and charcuterie boards."

Mr Humphreys, who has 20 years experience working in the hospitality trade, says he wants to source the majority of the ingredients locally.

He says four to five new employees will be taken on, adding: "We intend on employing local people and also want to give opportunities to the younger generation to find work."

The plan is for The Waiting Room to be open seven days a week, from 7.30am to 10.30pm Monday to Thursday, 7.30am to 11pm Fridays and Saturdays, and then 8am to 8pm on Sundays.

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