New cafe and art gallery coming to New Cross Road

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Mel Shakespeare establishes a new arts café  Pic: Charlotte Kjaer

A new arts café called Out of the Brew will open its doors early next year in the former Café Crema premises on New Cross Road.

Behind the project is Mel Shakespeare, a native of South East London and former artist and stay-at-home mother, whose dive into her first business venture is the realisation of a long-held ambition.

“It has been a dream of mine for years to establish a place like Out of the Brew, so when this fantastic space opened up, I knew it was time to realise it,” said Shakespeare.

She said that the café will combine food and drinks with creative projects and events, with the aim of bringing people together in a relaxed and stimulating space.

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Out of the brew will combine food and drinks with creative projects and events Pic: Charlotte Kjaer

Art gallery in the basement

One of Out of the Brew’s main draws will be a permanent art gallery, called Castor Project, situated in the converted basement space.

London-based artist Andy Wicks, who previously held a solo exhibition portraying the history and heritage of Deptford, will be the gallery curator.

Wicks told Eastlondonlines that he aims to showcase a broad range of artistic viewpoints: “I want the gallery to be a diverse platform for contemporary art, where we can take some risks and show people something they may not have seen before,” he said.

In addition to the gallery, there are also plans to host movie nights in the café and to use the newly re-landscaped garden area for growing fruit and vegetables, as well as to accommodate various outdoor events and activities.

Shakespeare said that she hopes these ideas will be just the beginning, and she welcomes local residents to help shape Out of the Brew with their own creative input: “I want Out of the Brew to be shaped by the people using the space, whether it is for a weekly comedy club, a supper club or something entirely different.

“As a South East girl myself, I know this part of London to be very creative, and Out of the Brew should be a platform that nourishes and welcomes that creativity,” said Shakespeare.

Out of the Brew will support local companies by serving robusta bean coffee from East End-based Black Sheep Coffee, as well as craft beers from Fourpure Brewing Company in South Bermondsey.

Follow Charlotte Kjaer on Twitter: @c_antschukov

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