Classic Cafes: Lorenzo Marioni #2

Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


Lorenzo was born in a village in the Apennines, not far from Pisa. His parents moved to London shortly after the Second World War to establish their catering business. He followed them in 1949, six years old and goggling at the sea, the white cliffs of Dover, and the gulls. Only a year later, he was put to work in his father's café, washing up and peeling the potatoes... "I've been here 50 years and apart from when I was in the army, I've been here on this street every day of my life... This place used to make me a living," he reflects. "Now it's more like half a living. I'm the like last one on the ship. It's sinking, and there's only a little bit of it left above the surface of the water."

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