The "Brittania Coffee Tavern" - whose landlord was fined for selling cigarettes at midnight

The “Brittania Coffee Tavern” – whose landlord was fined for selling cigarettes at midnight

In Penarth back in 1894 anyone wanting a cup of coffee didn’t call at a coffee shop – they would instead drop in to a “coffee tavern”.

One such establishment was the “Brittania (sic) Coffee Tavern”  in Glebe St which was also branded as “Williams Dining Rooms” .

The dining rooms – or “refreshment rooms” as they were also called –  served ham and eggs, “hot dinners”, and steaks – and also sold cigars and tobacco.It was unfortunately the latter commodity which was to result in a court appearance for the blameless looking landlord of the establishment  Mr Richard Pearcy.

The owner of the "Brittania Coffee Tavern" was fined 5 shillings for selling sigarettes at midnight.

The owner of the “Brittania Coffee Tavern” was fined 5 shillings for selling sigarettes at midnight.

In August 1894 he appeared in  Penarth Police Court before magistrates Mr. L. Wood and Major Thornley charged with “keeping his house open during prohibited hours at midnight on the 29th of July” .

Mr Pearcy came up with a less than convincing explanation that “boys going mushrooming” had called at his premises for what he called “some Virginias” and he had sold them the cigarettes. He was fined five shillings .

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  1. Martin gossage says:

    Errr? Did I miss 5 and 6? Can anyone see what number that is on the door??

  2. Sue Tasher says:

    I am intested to know what number Glebe street was the coffee tavern? From your photograph the frontage of the premises looks very similar to the old Chris Capus? Thank you for your articles. As a business owner of Glebe street I find the articles fascinating.

    • Martin gossage says:

      Capus was no 9? That number on the plaque is two numbers

    • newsnet says:

      Sue:We can’t make the number out I’m afraid – but anybody who can recognise the frontage is more than welcome to post a comment.

  3. Martin gossage says:

    Crepe escape surely

  4. Google street view can be a very useful tool sometimes for checking these things. I began by looking at the windows above the shop – the distance between them and the distance between the window on the right (as we look at it) and the end of the shop. This discounts the shops at the lowe end of this terrace (Where Chris Capus’ is) as the windows here are too close together. Then upon “going” to Gleebe St on Streetview, I see that above Seabreeaze Homes and Blades there is a plaque which reads BRITANNIA BUILDINGS – possibly the shop units have been altered over the last 100 years but this would seem to be the place.

  5. Ann Other says:

    What a crime! And he doesn’t look as if he would say boo to a goose.

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