A new coffee shop and comic book store in Covent Garden marks the return of the barista behind one of the city’s former best, and most singular coffee shops. Anthony West, who formerly ran The Black Chapel in Wandsworth, is opening Black Box at 8 Great Newport Street, alongside Orbital Comics. The comic book store is yet to reopen, but West is trialling the coffee operation from around 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. each day.
Originally slated to open in February, COVID-19 has delayed the opening by four months and also changed its initial ethos: A proposed zero waste approach, with no takeaway cups on site at all, has had to be shelved until restrictions on dining out are lifted. Also parked for now are West’s vegan desserts, with tiramisu, brownies, and a Japanese coffee jelly, as well as a coffee cream that West has likened to the dalgona coffee trend emerging throughout lockdown across the world. West, appropriately, has instructed budding customers not to come as much as to come, saying that only those who “have a reason” to be in the area should visit.
For now, with the comic book store yet to be refurbished, it’s takeaway drinks only, as West feels out the Covent Garden location. The central, quite large space is a marked departure from The Black Chapel, which he opened in 2014. and departed in 2018, not before having made it one of the few true destination shops in the city, as much for its idiosyncratic design as excellent drinks.