The evolution of the coffee shop

David Coffer is an NRN contributor and chairman of London-based The Coffer Group, a 40-year-old consulting firm specializing in the leisure sector and comprising Davis Coffer Lyons, Coffer Corporate Leisure, Coffer Hotels and Coffer Leisure Investment Advisory.

It was a crisp but gloomy winter evening in London’s West End, when I found myself amid an eerie sea of empty chairs; the comforting hubbub of crowds had fallen silent, replaced by the quiet of ignored machinery. The spits of steam that rose to engulf the air just 12 hours earlier had evaporated as the vibrant daytime boulevard lost its throng. And the imposing windows that once contained a cacophony of color and life now merely held framed emptiness.

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