Ladies and Gentlemen…a disused public toilet is being converted into a public house on the Tottenham High Road.
Called The High Cross it takes its name from the historic brick monument close by – marking the centre of what was Tottenham village in the 17th Century – and aims to maintain much of the toilet’s original features from the 1920s.
“The public convenience dates back to this period and it was a toilet up to about 30 years ago when it fell into disuse,” said Chris Johnson. “We’re going to keep the ‘Ladies’ and ‘Gentlemen’ signs outside and light them up at night, while inside we’ve kept a lot of the original tiles as well as the original dividing walls. We’ll also be paying homage to its history with artworks including some beautiful old postcards of Tottenham.”
Co-founders Chris and Alex Beeston have been working in hospitality for the past ten years when they heard that Haringey Council was advertising the premises as a potential leasehold. Intrigued, they submitted an application and for the past few months have been working into the night to transform the former Monument Way toilets into their dream establishment.
“To turn this site into something completely different from what it was before is very exciting,” said Alex who will be working in the bar. “Our background is in public houses so we’ll be serving local beers as well as coffees and teas and soft drinks and they will all be reasonably priced in our ‘micro pub’”.
While Alex works the bar, Chris the chef will be manning the kitchen and aims to rustle up a wonderful variety of Sunday roasts, stews, bar snacks, salads and puddings for diners inside and – when it gets warmer – those sitting at the tables outside.
“And we’re very keen on this becoming a community space,” said Chris who lives just down the road in Bruce Grove. “We’re discussing doing community events such as cookery classes, hosting local musicians, and giving local societies and groups the option to meet here in the day as – to begin with – we won’t be opening until late afternoon on weekdays, whereas at weekends we’ll be open all day long.”
“We’ll be bringing a community asset to the area,” added Alex. “It will be a nice place for Tottenham residents to come and we aim to create something that people are proud of and can say, ‘This is ours’”.
The High Cross will be open for business in the next few weeks.