Exclusive: West End's 'first theatre cafe' set to open on 12 January
The Theatre Cafe will offer customers the chance to buy tickets over a cup of coffee
London's "first theatre themed cafe" will open on Shaftesbury Avenue on Monday 12 January 2015, WhatsOnStage can reveal.
Operated by London Theatre Bookings, who own 14 tickets shops across the West End, The Theatre Cafe will offer customers the opportunity to browse and buy tickets on iPads whilst drinking coffee.
Speaking to WhatsOnStage, London Theatre Bookings' head of sales and marketing Ryan Coyle-Woods said: "Joe and Jill [Davey, the company's owners] have had a theatre coffee shop in the back of their minds for a long time, and we've finally bitten the bullet and gone for it.
"It's ideal for people coming to London who don't know exactly what they want to see, and might feel rushed into a decision at a dedicated ticket shop. This will enable them to browse information, watch trailers and get recommendations before booking."
The capacity of the cafe will be in the region of 20-25 customers, with the option of takeaway coffee and snacks also available. The walls will be adorned with theatre memorabilia, including a broom from Wicked.
In the long term the owners hope to host special events including signings and performances by West End performers.
"We've spoken to shows about the idea in the past, and they've all been really positive about it," added Coyle-Woods. "With the closure of Dress Circle and the London Theatre Museum there isn't really a place for theatre fans to congregate in the West End, and we hope this will provide that."
The coffee will be provided by Brighton-based company Small Batch, while food will be supplied by Gail's bakery in Soho.
The official opening of The Theatre Cafe, which is located at 66 Shaftesbury Avenue, will be marked by a range of special events and offers, more details of which will be revealed by WhatsOnStage in the coming weeks.