When Coffee Came to London (Not a Starbuck's Story)

Walkability makes markets! Scott Bernstein tells the Lloyds of London story from the urbanist's perspective.

1 minute read

September 21, 2017, 6:00 AM PDT

By Hazel Borys


Coffee House

chrisdorney / Shutterstock

"Around 1650, coffee came to London. The refreshing and slightly habit forming beverage was a big hit. A new kind of non-alcoholic public house — the coffee house — was quickly invented."

"London was a walking city, only the wealthy and businesses had personal transportation. And the weather was famously chancey. So a smart entrepreneur came up with a way of scouting locations."

"He looked for groups of people transacting business on the sidewalk, and those became coffeehouse locations—that was one smart business strategy!"

Bernstein continues to make the connection between urban form and the birthplace of the London stock exchange. Oh, and of course, the rise of the coffee house.

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