Former Starbucks above Waterstones reopens as bookshop's own coffee shop

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: John Holmes from Waterstones new W Cafe John Holmes from Waterstones new W Cafe

Bradford bookshop Waterstones has stepped in to reopen the coffee shop above it which was closed down by Starbucks.

The coffee shop giant pulled out of the Wool Exchange store in February after more than 15 years.

The news came as another blow to the city as it was hot on the heels of the closure of photographic shop Jessops and the announcement by outdoor wear supplier Milletts it was closing its Darley Street store.

But now, the coffee shop has reopened under the Café W branding, which is in 12 Waterstones branches and is placed into its stores when concessions pull out.

Cafe W opened this month and assistant manager, Chris Clark, said that is was going well with people staying loyal to the coffee shop.

None of the Starbucks staff are staffing the new cafe, but instead current book store staff have been trained in a dual role as baristas.

Mr Clark said: “When the lease comes up for whatever concession in the stores, it makes sense [for us to take over] and is part of the bookshop experience.

“Pretty much all of our stores have cafes and it makes sense to have our own.

“I think, more often than not, customers are happy that there is a coffee shop there. I don’t think they have really mentioned Starbucks going.

“It is such a historic building that it is really nice to sit and have a coffee here.

“The selection is similar to what we had here before and we certainly get a rush at lunchtime and the weekends are pretty busy. I think it has been a positive experience so far.”

The shop is open seven days a week.

It is believed that all the Starbucks staff have been redeployed elsewhere.

Mike Cartwright, of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re pleased that Waterstones has decided to keep the coffee shop in the Wool Exchange.

“It’s a popular meeting point for businesses and residents alike, it adds to the range of amenities and services in the city and ensures the building is fully-utilised.

“There was much disappointment when it was announced it was to close.”

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