Monocle, the London-based magazine of global affairs and style, is as well known for its in-depth articles about far-flung destinations as for its clean, smart look. For both those things, it's a magazine meant to be read as much as be seen with—whether on the plane, or displayed on your (designer) coffee table. Now, the six-year-old publication wants to be known for the taste of its coffee. On April 15, The Monocle Café is set to open in London's Marylebone neighborhood, promising customers a very Monocle-like experience. (Read: posh, international, and very, very stylish.)
The Monocle Café occupies two stories at 18 Chiltern Street and was designed by the same team that created the sharp, classic look of the magazine. The Café features coffee from Allpress, a menu designed by chef Masayuki Hara, and a soundtrack provided by Monocle 24, the magazine's radio station. This being Monocle—where a little exclusivity goes a long ways—subscribers are invited to rent the space out for private parties.
We asked Tyler Brûlé, the magazine's founder and editor (and, it's worth noting, a contributing editor to Departures, an American Express publication like Travel + Leisure) a few questions about the new café. Here's what he said:
Q. What is special about the location? How does it reflect Monocle and what will Monocle bring to the neighborhood?
As this is our first stand alone café venture, we wanted to ensure we could keep a close eye on it. And we also had the good fortune of securing a space across the road from André Balazs’ new hotel. It was the perfect combination.
Our office, shop and Lobby Shop are in all Marylebone, plus we have interest in two other ventures on the same street—menswear store, Trunk, and its soon to be opened accessories shop. It’s turning into a Monocle hub, and we’re already seeing our readers visit on a daily basis.
Q. What city would you like to expand into next?
I think there’s huge opportunities in South East Asia. And like our other operations, we’d probably want to combine retail with editorial as well. So, Singapore and Jakarta.
Q. When I interviewed you for The New York Observer a few years ago you told me you dreamed of opening a hotel: Any chance that could happen? If so, where and when? A hotel might be a bit of a stretch at the moment. That said, we do think it’s a good time for a possible residential project—and there’s no better place to start than London.
The Monocle Café
18 Chiltern Street
London W1U 7QA
Photo by Kate Peters courtesy of Monocle.