Nice font: Rufus Cafe. Photo by Andrew Simpson

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]s there room for another food-based business on Highgate Road? A geeky bean-obsessed artisan coffee shop, perhaps? A deli-cum-wine bar?

We think so. After all, the strip was a bustling thoroughfare a century ago, complete with coffee houses and independent outlets aplenty.

And in the last couple of years, it has become increasingly happening again, with the rise of Highgate Studios, the Soho House triumvirate, popular new Italian trattoria Rossella, the revamped Vine – and the continued boozy dominance of the Southampton Arms. Not to mention the now-swanky department store, Orientalist, and various smaller carpet shops dotted along the way.


Serving up. Photo by Andrew Simpson

And Rufus – note the attractive font – continues this theme, a quite stylish new cafe adjacent to the Expressions Dance Studios. Did you know, incidentally, that the building, once a furniture factory, gets its name from gown makers Linton & Co, who were based here when it was a centre for the rag trade?

Speaking of which, cafe owner Justice Konneh has a long history with Kentish Town. “I used to be a paper boy in this area in the eighties,” he says, “delivering to the whole of Lissenden mansions and up West Hill. I’ve seen the area change over the years and am now very excited to be back doing something new.”

And how novel is it? Well, there are falafel wraps, a choice of two daily changing soups, salads and of course sarnies for those in a rush. But the two crowd-pullers are salt beef bagels and pulled pork baps: we rated the latter (moist, moreish) more than the salt beef, which was, alas, a tad bland.

Still, it’s an airy Scandi-style space, with bare bulbs, comfy leather armchairs, and a counter perfect for people-watching, americano in hand, from its big windows; in fact, it’s arguably more Copenhagen than K-Town.

Are you a regular? What do you recommend?

[box] Find Rufus Cafe at Linton House, 39-51 Highgate Rd, NW5 1RS. Get there before 1pm for their early bird £5 offer of drink and hot sandwich [/box]

2 Responses

  1. Diana Partridge

    Many moons ago i knew a lady who always bought Norman Linton dresses for Sunday best. They had a reputation for quality and style at a reasonable price. They were considered to be just the thing for the ‘older ‘ lady at that time. Nice to see that the factory concerned has been so attractively refurbished and used. Its a nice touch for Kentish Town.


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