A few months ago Will Self wrote an article for the New Statesmen decrying the rise of the talentless hipster. He kicked off the whinging polemic with a story about a recent trip to LA, where he somehow found himself in a uniquely hellish cafe. It sported a falsified pastoral interior, tattooed dickheads behind the bar and the soundsystem blared cool bands like Massive Attack (lol). It was a monument to hipsterdom’s pervasive douchery.
Honestly, I don’t know how miserable old men like Will Self do it. I’ve been to LA many times, and I usually eat at interchangeable Mexican joints, Del Taco, Applebees, Chili’s, In-N-Out, Alberto’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Del Taco and various other chill mass-market chains where you can get a pitcher of beer for $6 and salsa for free. Sure, I’ve been to trendy spots too, but it’s not as if they were forced on me like a court date. That’s the benefit of a city that covers almost 500 square miles - you have options.
And yet somehow guys like Self always end up in these places they detest, as if they need their blood to boil just to get their brain ticking over. Which brings me to the Cereal Killer cafe, a new joint that’s just opened near Brick Lane that’s caused OUTRAGE. Run by twin brothers, the cafe only sells cereal and cereal variations - for a premium price. The Guardian wasn’t sure it would last. One site called it the ‘bellend apocalypse’ (pretty good term tbh) and a whole host of other folks, me included, said, ‘what a bunch of chodes.’
Best of all, Channel 4 News broke through the door like the Kool-Aid jug and asked the owner a question about the cafe pricing out the impoverished residents of Tower Hamlets.
Obscure reference clarification
This is a relevant issue to bring up with any new business in the borough, but to level it at the owner on his first day seems a little cruel. After all, Brick Lane has been a petri-dish for pricks for about 10 years now, and the reporter could just as easily have asked every bar on the street why they’re serving pints at £5 a pop.
For that very reason, I don’t tend to hang out in the area. And I don’t intend to hit up the Cereal Cafe. Unlike Will, I can’t put myself through that kind of torture, and I doubt the folks complaining about it can either. Even the people who think it’s a good idea will probably go once and then never again. So if you ask me, Cereal Killer won’t last very long, and we can all give ourselves a pat on the back when it’s gone.
But in the meantime, how about we leave them alone? They’ve started a business which is providing a few people with employment and bringing cash to the area. Plus, as far as I’m aware, the place isn’t the root cause of local residents being turfed from their homes to make way for luxury flats - although I’ll admit it’s a symptom. Ultimately, we can vote with our feet, so let’s not act like Cereal Killer Cafe is singlehandedly destroying the capital - There's a whole host of other things taking care of that.