Richmond, TW9 - Matthiae Café
This was a once-bustling business with a classic blue and silver Art Deco shop front and matching interiors, which earned the building grade II-listed status. Reg Matthiae opened the venture as a bakery in 1920 and subsequently expanded the business to include a café, restaurant and catering service.
The family business closed in 2001 after 80 years. The building remained empty for nearly 12 years and suffered from a lack of general maintenance. A few old wedding cake decorations covered in dust remained visible in the window.
Tesco bought the cafe site and local residents with support from local councillors persuaded & worked with the supermarket chain to sympathetically restore the iconic building.
The building has retained its art deco frontage, while individual Tesco steel lettering makes up the signage in keeping with its 1930s style. A window display is now in homage to the history of the building. Julie Dunlop née Matthiae, at the opening of the store, said she was delighted; that it was evocative and a fitting tribute to her parents’ business.