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Lewis Coffee House Company

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Lewis Coffee House Company

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At a meeting on Tuesday 28th May 1878 a public meeting held at the Masonic Hall in Stornoway chaired by Reverend Donald John Martin, Minister of the Free Church, it was agreed to establish a Coffee House. It was felt that the welfare of the public demanded it, “that temperance principles and habits prevailed amongst the fishermen and Crofters of the Island” and that even though many refusals for drinks licences had been given “”it was necessary to counteract this evil by establishing suitable refreshment rooms where Tea, Coffee and Cocoa could be sold” following examples in Edinburgh, Leith, Glasgow and Liverpool. It was agreed to establish the Lewis Coffee House Co Ltd as a joint stock company with a share capital of £1500 to build or rent suitable premises in which the business could be established.
Coffee Rooms were established in Point Street at the corner with Bank Street in Stornoway by August 1878 to provide non-alcoholic drinks along with pies and baked goods. A reading room was also provided for those willing to pay an annual subscription of 10 shillings and 6 pence.
In 1884 the coffee house moved to what is now the Star Inn on South Beach Street where it remained until 1911 when the company was voluntarily wound up having fallen to the level where it was no longer a viable enterprise.


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