Cafés and restaurants often use boards to entice customers inside with teasing examples of what they can expect.
But only one York venue tempts people in to see its loo!
A board outside ALMA Café & Gifts on Coppergate advertises its pastries, sandwiches, milkshakes, unique gifts… plus “our extraordinary toilet!”.
ALMA – which stands for Anna, Lisa, Max and Andres, the family who run the business – is a unique venue. Opening just 12 weeks ago, it is a café, shop and also an art library.
It makes sense that a unique venue would have a unique way of drawing customers in!
Co-owner Andres Jaroslavsky told YorkMix that his partner and co-owner of ALMA Lisa Holah had told him that one of the reasons she decides the quality of a cafe is by its toilet.
“So she asked me to design a toilet that looked amazing – that was the idea.”
The aesthetically designed toilet showcases its own copper features, made from items such as copper pans – everything has been designed and built by Andres himself.
“Apparently people like it very much,” he said.
Andres is a painter and runs York Corner Studio where he teaches painting and drawing.
“Everything is a recycling of something old,” said Andres.
“I wanted to do everything in copper because I thought that was what Coppergate was about – until I realised it had nothing to do with copper.
“We decided to keep the theme of copper anyway.”
There are other copper features dotted around the cafe too, such as the light fixture that looks like an octopus which is made from an old water tank, and lights downstairs that are made from French copper colanders.
“Everything, even the logo, was done by hand,” said Andres.
“I think we should make it more clear, because people keep asking where we got those things and we need to tell them ‘no, no, we did it.'”
The cafe serves a selection of hot and cold drinks, as well as hot and cold food such as toasted sandwiches, brownies, cakes, and sausage rolls.
There is also a gift shop where everything is designed by Andres, with gifts like mugs, posters, and a special ‘Calendar of York’.
“I would like to be a place where even the presents are unique – you won’t find those designs anywhere else.”
“It’s not just a pretty toilet!”
For more information about ALMA, visit their website here.