The coffee giant will close the city’s third major cafe in a year

It’s probably not quite how it expected to celebrate its 25th anniversary, but the Italian-influenced Caffè Nero is losing another of its ‘coffee grounds’ in Birmingham city centre. After a pre-Covid expansion, it is now set to close its third central location in just over a year.

Founded in 1997, Nero presents itself online as saying that it has “cultivated one cafe, one customer and one store all at once – always trying to be the best at what we do”. He was voted Cafe Retailer of the Year in 2015 and Coffee Shop Retailer of the Year in 2016 by the CEE Retail Awards.

The London-based company is the third-biggest coffee chain in the UK behind Costa and Starbucks – or fourth if you put Greggs at No. 2. But it will soon be just four sites from the city center of Birmingham, compared to seven before Covid-19.

Read more:The coffee giant’s commitment after the closure of a flagship cafe next to Grand Central

The latest store to close is arguably its most attractive location in town – on the corner of Temple Street West and Waterloo Street, overlooking the grounds of St. Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham’s only major green space . BirminghamLive understands the site will close on or before May 29 and staff will be absorbed into the remaining outlets, including the Brindleyplace suntrap.

The cafe, which is shaped like a dog’s paw and a pillar by the front door of what was once Birmingham’s Midshire, has been open for over a decade and sits at the foot of a Grade Listed building II*. Next door, in what used to be Lisa Shepherd’s hairdressers, is the independent café Damascena, which opened in February 2017 and is now part of a small chain in town.

Caffè Nero, Waterloo Street near Birmingham Cathedral of St Philip’s

Caffè Nero’s official address is 42-47 Waterloo Street. Historic England has listed 44 Waterloo Street since 5 November 1981 – its description states that the five-storey building is “brick and terracotta in the Perpendicular Gothic style” and has a “polygonal corner turret”.

Other hospitality neighbors include the award-winning Old Joint Stock pub and theater on Temple Row West as well as The Ivy and River Blu on Temple Row and Fumo, Bar & Block and Sabai Sabai Thai restaurant on Waterloo Street.

The closure follows Caffè Nero’s closure of its store opposite the BBC entrance inside the letterbox last spring, followed in late summer by the Lower Temple address Street directly across from the Stephenson Street gates of Grand Central. It’s now an Archie’s burger bar.

In September last year, Caffè Nero said the Mailbox and Lower Temple Street sites had closed because the owners of those sites wanted to “repurpose/repurpose” them.

Confirming the closure of Waterloo Street, a Caffè Nero spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “We have been unable to reach an agreement with the owner to move forward and are therefore leaving the site.

“We have no intention of closing the remaining stores in Birmingham, they are great stores with loyal customers who we love to serve. Our desire is to open more stores in Birmingham, not cut them, and we We will review suitable sites as they become available.”

The remaining urban Caffè Nero sites are at Brindleyplace, Corporation Street, Link Street Bullring and next to Five Guys near the Smallbrook Queensway entrance to Grand Central and New Street Station.

Caffè Nero on Waterloo Street sits at the foot of a spectacular Grade II* listed building which Historic England says is of 'Perpendicular Gothic style'.  Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip's) is across Temple Row West to its right in this view
Caffè Nero on Waterloo Street sits at the foot of a spectacular Grade II* listed building which Historic England says is of ‘Perpendicular Gothic style’. Birmingham Cathedral (St Philip’s) is across Temple Row West to its right in this view

It is also present on Harborne High Street and near the Gracechurch center of Sutton Coldfield. There are two cafes in Solihull, on the High Street and in Mell Square, with another at Birmingham Airport (landside).

The Bennetts Hill, Waterloo Street and Colmore Row area vacated by Caffè Nero has been transformed in recent years with multiple hospitality openings in what was once a predominantly financial district before the smartphone revolution in personal banking.

Temple Street alone includes Head of Steam, Revolucion de Cuba, Manahatta, The Botanist, Trocadero, San Carlo, The Oyster Club and Las Iguanas while Bennetts Hill is home to The Briar Rose, Indian Streetery, The Sun on the Hill, The Wellington , The Lost & Found, Dirty Martini, Nude, The Wellington and newcomer Otherworld, a bar with virtual reality.

Cafes on Colmore Row include Java, Starbucks, Pret A Manger and 200 Degree. Other bars and restaurants include The Alchemist, Gusto, Vagabond, Henman & Cooper and The Colmore.

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