London's First Members-Only Cafe Isn't as Wanky as It Sounds
The perfect working space for the officeless?
April 08, 2015
A members-only cafe? Really? You've got to be bloody joking. TRIPE. Nope, it's a Thing — London's opened its very first members-only cafe, SL28, a Holloway coffee shop at which you pay a monthly membership fee to hang out. But it's not as ridiculously shut-the-front-door as it sounds, it's actually a pretty great concept for co-working.
Pioneered by and located inside the HQ of a British working environment specialist company called Net.Works., SL28 is indeed a members-only cafe. It's £10 (about $14) a month for full membership, with which you're both allowed in the space and able to order unlimited £5 batch brew coffees — they even give you three free cups a month (which kind of makes the membership fee a little less flabbergaster-inducing). There are baked goods from Aux Pains de Papy, as well as soups, sandwiches and teas, which you can take to fixed-desk spaces, couches and armchairs.
If you're still scoffing and ready to whip up an angry social media storm, there's a pretty good intention behind the whole members-only schtick. Basically, the crew want to provide a space for freelancers and collaborative workers to be able to stay for hours on end, whittling away at their projects — without getting shamed for lingering too long. Freelancers, you feel this? If you've ever worked purely from your laptop, you've been shooed away from free wifi cafes after a few hours, death stared from the counter, asked to pay for more bevs or get out. So this is a pretty great alternative; it's almost like a hot desk set-up that happens to be a cafe.
The best bit? You'll have company, like this genius Hoffice concept. Hooray for friends! Surrounded by co-freelancers, students, laptop-bound creatives and general coffee enthusiasts, SL28 members have the warm fuzzy advantage of having active minds around them — as opposed to your ever-tempting PS4, loudly mowing neighbours and indifferent axolotl. We'd pay cash money for that.
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