At Cool Blue we’re privileged to have worked with designer Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway on a number of their projects over the years, from the award-winning Festival of Thrift to the Staiths South Bank housing development they helped to design 11 years ago.

On Thursday, Wayne returned to the Staiths in Gateshead for a cuppa with the local community, for the launch of a new café with a difference. Not just a place to grab a quick cup of tea and cake, the Staiths Café Bar is at the very heart of the community as a shop, art gallery and event space.

Wayne said: “When we started the project, we wanted it to have a community feel, to be verdant and vibrant and sitting here in the café watching the life going on around the development and along the wonderful riverside walk and cycle route, I’m happy to say that it looks like a “job well done”.”

Suzanne Hutton and Mark Hodgson decided to open the ‘fusion’ café to pull together Mark’s catering background and Suzanne’s expertise in creating community arts projects.
Suzanne told us; “We wanted to create a relaxing environment and make the business a hub for people who live in the area.

“We’re planning cultural activities and events with the input of the community, including film nights and open mic and music events, similar to cafés in cities such as Berlin.”
Let’s hope more fusion cafés will be popping up around the country soon.

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