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Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)

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heritage
Bedworth
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1 of 121  Tue 11th Oct 2011 4:09pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:374

Growing up in the 1950s one of the pleasures was to be able to frequent the coffee bars that sprung up around the city centre and further afield. Totally harmless but to many parents they were usually considered dens of iniquity. As I mentioned on another topic two to get us going were the 'Beaker' in Beake Avenue opposite the Radford Common, (who remembers the big fight there one Friday evening in 1959) and the Portofino in Primrose Hill Street. This was a lot more upmarket than the 'Beaker' and useful for the nearby dance hall, remember the John Barry Seven there in the early 60s before he got involved with the James Bond films. My memory has suddenly gone on me but there were two in Far Gosford Street. One was opposite the Colin Campbell, almost on the corner and one further down on the Colin Campbell side and more or less where the ring road is now. There was a furniture warehouse opposite. One of these was called the 'El Cubano' or similar, what was the other? Perhaps we shouldn't forget the Wimpy in the lower Precinct, nice to know it's had another incarnation. Any more that pop into the head? Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:56 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
JohnB
Wokingham, Berkshire
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2 of 121  Wed 12th Oct 2011 8:05pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:48

I am too young to remember these places apart from the round Wimpy however I love the evocative names. John Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:53 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Radford kid
Coventry
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3 of 121  Sun 6th Nov 2011 3:15pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:357

On 21st Oct 2011 12:54pm, PhilipInCoventry said: What about the 'Copper Kettle'? Wave
I remember the Copper Kettle, bottom of Hill St opposite St John's Church, fond memories, my wife and I loved the steak and kidney pie and chips with gravy, mmmm taste it now, all home-made. When we were courting we would meet after work and go for tea, simple food with taste. The other place we used to frequent was the round cafe (Wimpy), Lower Precinct, Coventry. Beef burger and chips, toasted bap and ketchup. Do you remember American styles? All for now. Colin Walton Thumbs up Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:57 am
Colin Walton

Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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4 of 121  Sun 6th Nov 2011 8:45pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3838

On 6th Nov 2011 3:15pm, Radford kid said: I remember the Copper Kettle, bottom of Hill St opposite St John's Church, fond memories, my wife and I loved the steak and kidney pie and chips with gravy, mmmm taste it now, all home-made. When we were courting we would meet after work and go for tea, simple food with taste. The other place we used to frequent was the round cafe (Wimpy), Lower Precinct, Coventry. Beef burger and chips, toasted bap and ketchup. Do you remember American styles?All for now. Colin Walton Thumbs up
Thank you for that, Colin. Cheers Yes I do remember the Wimpy with the bender sausage things. I was young then too. Also the pancake parlour, not many yards away. Wave Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:58 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Elaine
Coventry
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5 of 121  Thu 10th Nov 2011 9:16am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:68

PiC - I really hope you meant to say BENDY sausages Wink I remember those as being a bit like frankfurters. I liked the pancake parlour but especially the ice cold milk in that swirly machine. Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:59 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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6 of 121  Sun 20th Nov 2011 5:48pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:878

On 10th Nov 2011 9:16am, Elaine said: PiC - I really hope you meant to say BENDY sausages Wink I remember those as being a bit like frankfurters. I liked the pancake parlour but especially the ice cold milk in that swirly machine.
Nope! I remember the Wimpy Bars and sometimes used them when I was first allowed into town on my own either Trinity Street or the Round Cafe. The frankfurter sausage was cut along one side to make it curl up as it cooked to fit the bun. It was called a 'Bender'. Not very PC now though! Wink Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 9:59 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Bentley
Harrogate
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7 of 121  Tue 26th Feb 2013 6:13pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:11

Very popular in the late 50s and early 60s, but always known to us as the Cirque. As sophisticated teenagers, we drank very frothy coffee with whipped cream, which now sounds quite revolting!! Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:02 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 121  Wed 20th Mar 2013 2:10am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3033

Edited by member, 12th Aug 2016 2:06 am Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:03 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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9 of 121  Thu 23rd May 2013 5:56pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4549

On 26th Feb 2013 6:13pm, Bentley said: Very popular in the late 50s and early 60s, but always known to us as the Cirque. As sophisticated teenagers, we drank very frothy coffee with whipped cream, which now sounds quite revolting!!
Here's a more recent photo of the circular cafe Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:04 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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10 of 121  Fri 4th Oct 2013 11:13pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Lower Precinct appears to be still under construction here. Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:07 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
dutchman
Spon End
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11 of 121  Sat 5th Oct 2013 12:23am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3033

And my beautiful girlfriend Tina has her back to the camera! She's the waitress with her hands on her hips and the lamp shade above her head Smile Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:07 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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12 of 121  Sat 5th Oct 2013 1:24am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

And the proper full-on Swedish chef complete with hat! Big grin Seriously though, what must locals have thought of that when built considering how it was before. I've always wondered why they made such a feature out of the lower half of Smithford Street - why 'lower' it at all? Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:07 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
LongfordLad
Toronto
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13 of 121  Thu 2nd Jan 2014 8:33pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:196

The Circular Café (actually, the Godiva, or even the Lady Godiva) in the Lower Precinct, also then known (for obvious reasons) as the Mushroom, was NOT a WIMPY BAR (and never a WHIMPY - as someone suggested - BAR). The only Wimpy Bar in Coventry in the 1960s was on Trinity Street, and the fare on offer was identical to every other Wimpy Bar in the land. The Circ (not the Cirque, for we were not that sophisticated, however much we tried, and - at this late date - I might offer that there was nothing of the circus about the Circ) was owned by company called Banquets of Oxford, and offered a more extensive menu - in a smaller setting - than a Wimpy Bar. The Circ stood in the middle of the Lower Precinct. To the left (at the café level, heading towards Broadgate) was the Pancake Parlour (also owned by Banquets of Oxford), and to the right was a shop for men called American Styles. As a part-time employee of the Circ of long ago, let me affirm: a) the café was NEVER a Wimpy Bar; and; b) it did not rotate, however much one might have wished it so to do. In closing, I have to say that the scholarship of contributors to this wonderful site is extraordinary. The contributors' recollections, their eye for detail now that things have changed, and their explanations of all things in plain English is most commendable. From afar, I extend my gratitude to those who started/run the site, and to those who contribute their knowledge - indeed, their wisdom - in every posting. Edited by member, 2nd Jan 2014 8:34 pm Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:09 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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14 of 121  Thu 2nd Jan 2014 9:45pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:454

So what was on the menu at the Mushroom café? I have recollections of snack food stuff. Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:10 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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15 of 121  Fri 3rd Jan 2014 11:48am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:878

The first Wimpy Bar was certainly in Trinity Street, but I am sure it was not the only one. Wimpy was a franchise and that one was owned by a local entrepreneur whose name sadly escapes me. But in the 70s he also had two others, one opposite the first one on the corner of Ironmonger Row, and one opposite Pool Meadow in Fairfax Street. The latter was where my girlfriend at the time was working. However, the story goes that the owner didn't want to pay for the Wimpy franchise so rebranded his three cafes under another name. It wasn't the only way that corners were cut, apparently. I am fairly certain that, following the disappearance of the Wimpy name from Coventry, soon afterwards the Circular Café did indeed become a Wimpy for a time. This would be around late 70s. Not a place I used to frequent, however, as a 'full English' was more up my street than a burger. Post copied from topic Restaurants, cafes and coffee bars on 29th Oct 2016 10:12 am
Lower Precinct Circular Cafe (and other Wimpy outlets)

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