Anthony West, the cafe owner and barista behind The Black Chapel in Wandsworth — one of London’s best coffee shops before West left the business 2018 — will open a new late-night cafe and dessert shop in Seven Dials’ comic book store Orbital Comics. The space will be called Black Box.
It will open at the end of February, having been originally slated for 2/2/2020. West will continue to pull his espressos on a lever machine — the only one of its kind in the city, a limited edition release from Monaco manufacturer Conti — and serve a range of vegan desserts. West has namechecked tiramisu, brownies, and coffee kanten, a Japanese coffee jelly, with the cakes using flour from Windmill in Brixton and coffee coming from Hackney’s Dark Arts, Glasgow’s Dear Green, Bristol’s Extract Coffee, Amsterdam’s Manhattan Coffee Roasters, and Pharmacie Coffee in Brighton. West says he surveyed roasters for their approach to addressing coffee’s carbon footprint and chose those that came back to him with “a meaningful response”; he also says the shop will be focussed on being a dessert bar first, and coffee second.
This is something of a departure from The Black Chapel, which West opened in Wandsworth on Hallowe’en 2014 and quickly established as one of the most singular coffee shops in London, with a winning sideline in the aforementioned vegan desserts. The new space, in Seven Dials’ Orbital comic book store, with coffee, desserts, and comics, will be “a one stop shop for fucking around in town,” at 8b Great Newport Street, open until 9p.m., which, for a London scene whose cafes tend to close down by 6, is decidedly late-night.