An icon of Soho, Bar Italia coffee shop was opened in 1949 by the Polledri family, who still own and operate the slice of Italian culture in the heart of London's west end.
Named Coffee Shop of the Year in 2010 by London Lifestyle Awards, Bar Italia on Frith Street counts actors Rupert Everett and cyclist Mark Cavendish as regulars. This Italian-Americano bar is a diner-style all-nighter with pavement tables and frenetic quick-fix service.
You can't talk to the staff at Bar Italia without talking about cycling. In a mixture of English and Italian the staff joke about this year's action packed Tour de France while making espressos for customers who sit outside in the July heat. Original features include neon signs, chrome pedestal bar stools, mirrors and two-tone Formica striped with steel. Hams, strings of garlic, cycling shirts, signed Cavendish jerseys and pictures hang above the steaming espresso machine. The stainless steel counter top is stuffed with cannoli, bruttiboni and jars of amaretti biscuits while a giant framed poster of Italian-American boxing hero, Rocky Marciano, watches over the hustle and bustle.
Condor has been making jerseys for the bar for several decades and the latest incarnation features the Bar Italia branding styled like their neon logo that famously features on the outside of the building. "This is maybe the fifth version of the jersey. I really like the 65th anniversary emblem on the jersey – they are nearly as old as Condor!" explains Grant Young. "We've had some really varied jersey designs over the years: a cappucino coloured jersey, which I still see around London today, a Giro inspired black and pink, and a classic Italian azzuri blue jersey. Bar Italia is one of those places that – day or night – it is a great bar to be in and full of culture. Anthony Polledri, son of Nino who started Bar Italia, really loves cycling. We spend too long talking about bikes whenever I pop in!"
The jersey is available at in-store and online at Condor and Bar Italia.
|Bar Italia x Condor 2015 Jersey
|Visit Bar Italia: 22 Frith Street, Soho W1D 4RF
Open 24 hours