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Kays Café 21 Bond Street

Do you remember this café?

Did you ever visit this eatery?

What sort of food did they produce?

Please post a comment if you do remember.


Bond Street 1958
From the personal collection of Laurence Roy

Comments about this page

  • Is that a chocolate machine, or fag machine on the wall?  I think it must be chocolate, because only shops sold fags; who remembers them on the wall of every shop or cafe?

    By Peter Groves (19/12/2017)
  • I went there perhaps once a week for lunch, when I worked at the Brighton Herald 1950’s. Would usually have roast beef, dumplings and two dollops of mashed potato, followed by spotted dick and custard, washed down with a mug of strong, sweet tea. All for about one shilling and sixpence I believe! One day, a most attractive girl came bounding in and plonked herself at my table and ordered something similar. She was an assistant at Ransomes, a radio spares shop just a few doors up. I was rather flattered, and spent most of the lunch hour giving her the benefit of my extensive knowledge of electronics and amateur radio! 

    By Brian Hatley (20/12/2017)
  • Until he retired in the 1960s, my dad Robert Mead, worked for my grand-dad across the road at Mead & Co auction sale rooms, he always referred to this café as The Coffee Shop; long before the coffee shops invasion of the 21st century!

    By Geoffrey Mead (20/12/2017)
  • Pretty sure that is a cigarette machine. Chocolate had not such an impact at that time but cig’s were a necessity.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (20/12/2017)
  • Kays Cafe was leased and run by my grandmother, Mrs Katherine Pentecost in the late 1940’s. I still have the original contract dated 1947 for this purchase. 

    At that time, my grandmother lived on a farm in Henfield, and so was able to source some fresh fruit and vegetables that were not always that easy to obtain elsewhere at the time.

    She always used to talk fondly about running this cafe and I seem to remember her telling me that she had a room upstairs where one of her helpers used to live for a while.

    By Lynda Goulborn (22/01/2018)
  • My grandfather bought this café sometime in the 1950s and it was very busy by all accounts. He ended up having to employ half the family to help out. Two families lived upstairs in the rooms above the shop. I still have a picture of my father on the flat roof which was accessible from one of the rooms. I can remember spending time in the flat while mother worked downstairs. The car in the picture above was probably my father’s. Grandfather sold the café sometime in the early sixties.

    By Laurence Roy (05/02/2018)
  • I currently have no. 23 two doors up, do any of you know any of the history of it?

    By Linda johnson (10/01/2021)
  • Linda, my gardfather had the premises opposite that is now the cocktail bar and clothes store; until the 1960s we traded there as Mead & Co ‘Premier Brighton Removers & Auctioneers’. I am working on writing up an article on Bond Street for an industrial history journal so have some, albeit limited, info on some of the businesses in the street. As ‘The Keep’ archive is closed I have limited access to much of the material I want to see, but I have the following for you; #23 in –
    1886 #23/24 H.Cozens ironmonger
    1914 HJ Massey, hairdresser
    1925 John Moore, hairdresser
    1927 Robert William Vince, hairdresser
    1932 RW Vince, hairdresser
    1934 Robert William Vince, hairdresser
    1937 not listed
    1938 The Radio Den [Tanswell & Beard]
    [no wartime street directories]
    1949 Elgee bakeries
    1951 Elgee Bakeries
    1954 Elgee bakeries
    1960 D.Crook, antique dealer
    1969 D.Crook antique dealer
    1971 David Crook, antique dealer
    1974 D.crook antique dealer
    [1974 final directory published]

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (16/01/2021)

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