Blackpool’s Upside Down vegan cafe gets major revamp after Covid setbacks

Owners Robert and Ryan love coffee, food, plants and dogs

 

Owners Robert Gomm, 36 and Ryan Green, 32 outside the very dog friendly Upside Down coffee shop
Owners Robert Gomm, 36 and Ryan Green, 32 outside the very dog friendly Upside Down coffee shop (Image: Upside Down coffee shop)

A vegan coffee shop that took its name from the Netflix hit show ‘Stranger Things’ has had its shop front re-vamped and is ready to open next week on Wednesday (July 7).

Upside Down on Edward Street in the town centre now has a modern, eye-catching shopfront thanks to a property improvement scheme by Blackpool Council.

Landlord Andy Shields applied for the Quality Corridors Scheme which aims to give some of Blackpool’s key roads a facelift to make streets more welcoming and shops more vibrant.

The much darker old shop front, styled in a similar font to Stranger Things, was replaced with more contemporary green sign fitted at the correct angle which fits in with the ‘Victorian aesthetic’ of the street.

Plant inspired windows at Upside Down
Plant inspired windows at Upside Down (Image: Upside Down)

Building owner Andy said: “A huge thank you to the team at Blackpool Council for organising this brilliant and effective scheme, providing some much-needed rejuvenation for the buildings of our town centre and bringing back a touch of local pride for the businesses within them.

“We couldn’t be happier with our amazing new shop front!”

The establishment, which tagline reads ‘coffee, food, plants’, is finally managing to re-open after several set backs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Owners Robert Gomm, 36 and Ryan Green, 32 decided to open their own place after Rob was hired by Ryan’s mum to work at their family business, Shaw’s Café on Clifton Street.

When Ryan’s mum decided to close the business, the pair wanted to create their own place based on their own tastes, preferences and beliefs.

Getting started proved to be a little difficult however as they originally opened in February 2020 and had to close again a month later due to the first national lockdown.

They then re-opened in July but had to close again in November due to Lancashire being in tier 4 and have remained that way since.

Inside Upside Down coffee shop on Edward Street, Blackpool
Inside Upside Down coffee shop on Edward Street, Blackpool (Image: Upside Down coffee shop)

The friends are now finally excited to get open up again this month and hopefully to remain that way.

Ryan told LancsLive: “We have had quite a bit of disruption and in total we’ve only really been open around five months.

“We’re hoping the government’s date of July 19 will be a return to normal however we worry it’s a little bit of a fallacy.

“Some places that have implemented the Track and Trace system have had to close for ten days at a time and its what kind of support is in in place for if that happens.

“We’re hoping it will be relatively normal now and we’re looking forward to just setting up and establishing ourselves uninterrupted.”

All staff at Upside Down are vegetarian or vegan and customers will not find meat on the menu.

Its offerings are delicious favourites such as toasties made with kimchi instead of cheese and chickpea pancakes with aubergine, courgette and chickpea curry.

The coffee shop prides itself on its specialist coffees, some of which you won’t find elsewhere in Blackpool, with Sey coffee being a personal favourite of the owners.

Not only is the menu plant-based but the café also sells a wonderful variety of plants which also provide a living backdrop to the welcoming surroundings.

One of the plants sales at Upside Down
One of the plants sales at Upside Down (Image: Upside Down)

A polaroid camera can also be found on site as not only is the coffee shop dog friendly but your furry friend can be added to its ‘doggy wall of fame’.

Staff also work to a ‘low-waste’ aspiration which is just one of many beliefs that inform a wider ethos at Upside Down.

Ryan said: “Our name, although we love Stranger Things, and the Diana Ross song, more relates to how we do things.

“There’s not many places in Blackpool that offer vegetarian or vegan options. None of our staff eat meat so we don’t see the point in cooking and serving something we wouldn’t eat ourselves.

“We want people when they come to visit Blackpool to know that there’s a vegetarian and vegan option there for them.

“How we source our coffee and the different ways and effort we put into cooking and preparing our food just make us that little bit different to anywhere else locally.

“I don’t think there’s anywhere else that quite loves plants as much we do too so I do feel we have a very upside down approach to how we do things!”

To find out more about Upside Down café, visit the Facebook page here.