The Brixton Pound Cafe
The first pay-what-you-can cafe in London
Brixton Pound Café is a pay-what-you-can community café using surplus produce to create a delicious, affordable veggie and vegan menu for everyone regardless of situation. The Brixton Pound Café provide a relaxed and inclusive environment for locals who want an alternative to expensive, less inviting establishments in the area.
Serving tea and coffee with dairy or plant-based milk, freshly made juices and iced teas, and a selection of canned drinks from donation, the café is a hub of conversation and ideas. Full coffee training for all of our volunteers is provided by Federation Coffee. We host meetings and gatherings organised by many local organisations promoting mental health and wellbeing, LGBTQ+ socials, BAME employment support and environmental projects.
The inventive pay-what-you-can menu is influenced by the surplus ingredients we receive and executed by a team of talented chefs and volunteers. Preparing fresh soups, salads and toasties every day, the Brixton Pound Café team is dedicated to cutting food waste in creative and practical ways. We make pickles, jams, sauerkraut and kombucha in-house, which promote a diversified diet and good gut health, and run supper clubs in the evenings which showcase some of the amazing ingredients thrown away by producers and consumers alike.
What are the opening hours?
The cafe is open between 9.30am and 6am Monday to Friday. We are open from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays. Activities can happen outside of those hours.
What activities happen at the cafe?
Brixton Pound Café is a truly radical place, designed to reflect the multitude of voices using the space and embody the ethics and values on which the organisation was built. We host a wide range of public events both in the cafe, and the lower studio, such pay-what-you-can reiki, beginners knitting, green film screenings, life drawing and children's art clubs. Space hire is also subsidised on a sliding scale, providing affordable opportunities for grassroots projects. You can also buy or use your Brixton Pounds and buy merchandise including the iconic Bowie print, Tshirts, mugs or currency.
How can I hire space?
We offer both the cafe space and the lower studio to rent. You'll find lots more information on our space hire page. Please email Tom at email@example.com to ask a question about booking.
Exhibit at the Brixton Pound Cafe
Are you an artist or group excited by the prospect of being part of a wider local community and bringing their art outside of the studio. We have exhibition space both in our studio and in the cafe itself. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your exhibition.
How can I volunteer?
The volunteer programme is driven towards work training, and is generally shared into 4.5 hour shifts. Coffee training, food prep and customer service are all areas covered in the sessions and - most importantly - support is user-specific. We ensure the aims of our volunteers is embedded into the training and provide opportunities for cross-pollination in the local area with other projects of interest.
What's the history of the Brixton Pound Cafe?
The Brixton Pound Cafe opened in July 2016 at 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU, the first cafe in South London where food and drink on a pay-what-you-can basis. It's an experiment in social economy that gives customers an opportunity to pay less if they don't have much, or to be generous and help support others who may not be able to afford as much. Participatory, inclusive, and social, it’s a utopian experiment that springs from the Brixton Pound ethos of questioning neoliberal economic dogma and showing how we can do things differently.
Accessibility and getting here
We are really close to Brixton Underground station which has step-free access. We are also near bus stops and Brixton overground station. Here is information about the accessibility of our space:
1. Entrance to building
There is one entrance to the building. One standard door approx. 86cm wide, there is one large step approx. 24cm high. We are afraid we do not have a ramp for the entrance but are currently seeking someone to help us out by either making or donating one! Push to open the door from the outside.
2. Cafe space
The floor is wooden and fairly even. The only internal door is for the bathroom, and it's 60cm wide.There is only one very short corridor to the bathroom which is 90cm wide; otherwise as soon as you walk through the front door you are in the upstairs space. The narrowest space a person would have to get through to get into the upstairs space is 86cm, the width of the entry door to the cafe. There is natural light through the large window, and uplighter lamps as well as standard lights on the ceiling.
There's one unisex bathroom, approx. 175cm wide and 305cm long. The door to the bathrooms is 60cm wide, with no step. The sink is 77cm high, with compression washer tap. No hot water at present (we're working on it!) The toilet is 40cm high. Push button flush top center of cistern. Toilet rolls are loose on top of shelf beside toilet, 27cm up from floor. There are no handrails. The light switch for the toilet is inside the bathroom, to the left: a long string pull lever type switch from the ceiling.
Turn space around the toilet: the room is a rectangle, with the entrance on the shorter side and a bookshelf, toilet, and sink along the longer side. The space between the sink and the wall is approx. 105 cm, between the toilet and that wall is approx. 64cm, between the bookshelf and the same wall is approx. 96.5 cm. The distance between the entrance and the edge of the sink is approx. 219 cm, between the entrance and the edge of the toilet is approx. 145 cm.