It has definitely found a niche market and enjoyed some unique publicity on its launch (if unique is the right word) but is Brick Lane’s Cereal Killer Cafe an aye or nay? The brainchild of hipster entrepreneurs and Irish twins Alan and Gary Keely it seems an innocent enough concept and was regarded as a refreshing challenge to the cheek to jowl curry houses the street is famous for. But shortly after its launch social media was awash with anti-hipster comments angry that they were charging almost £5 for a bowl of cereal and gentrifying a low income, working class area. In fact it got quite out of hand at one point with Class War anarchists attacking the building with red paint and cereal and burning an effigy of a policeman on the doorstep!
On a typical morning it’s a lot quieter as you can probably imagine. Tourists flock to the cafe charmed by the cute idea and fantastic selection of cereal which includes slightly more expensive imported brands. The servings can be a mixture of cereal brands if you so desire. Their Marshmallow Submarine is one such mixture – it may sound as if it’s named with six year olds as a target market but is actually quite delicious and has a log of real marshmallow in it. The £4.60 charge was reasonable considering they have staff and business rates to cover. You’re basically purchasing the experience as well as the selection. If you want cheaper you can always stay home and nip over to your local corner shop.
Ultimately it will always prove attractive to the curious crowd and also children dragging their parents to savour its treasure trove of brightly coloured ware. Despite all the publicity – good and bad – don’t go expecting anything other than a slightly cramped cafe with retro charm and not much to its interior than loads of boxes of cereal. However, one unusual feature can be found in the lower room where the seats are real beds. Perhaps that was inspired by recent reports in the media that UK firms were introducing beds into the workplace for stressed out staff. Politically motivated vandalism by anti-gentrification activists must count as pretty stressful!