London’s Old Restrooms Turned into Restaurants

December 25, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. lavatory /ˈlæv əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (n.) – an area specifically used for hygienic purposes, especially for using the toilet
Example: She went to the lavatory to wash her hands.

2. all-around /ˈɔl əˌraʊnd/ (adj.) – able to be used in/for more than one way
Example: The park is an all-around area for various outdoor activities.

3. sanitized /ˈsæn ɪˌtaɪzd/ (adj.) – being made free from germs and stains or filth
Example: The food he made was contaminated because his cooking utensils were not sanitized.

4. pristine /ˈprɪs tin, prɪˈstin/ (adj.) – very clean as if brand new
Example: The restaurant owner makes sure to keep his restroom pristine to avoid it from stinking.

5. practical /ˈpræk tɪ kəl/ (adj.) – being used with purpose
Example: She made practical use of recycled wine bottles as candle holders.


Read the text below.
A new business trend in London is transforming old public lavatories into modern dining spots that range from taverns to casual bistros.

Wine & Charcuterie [shahr-koo-tuh-REE, shahr-KOO-tuh-ree] (WC) is one among the newly opened restaurants following this trend. As part of a government-funded redevelopment project, WC was renovated from an old underground-station restroom. Inside, the bar stays true to its nineteenth-century “public restroom look” by using the rusted white-tiled walls and vintage toilets as décor [dey-KAWR, di-, DEY-kawr]. Its outdoor drinking area offers a more casual mood, with a simple setting of folding tables and chairs where customers can enjoy live music performances while dining.

Another restaurant catching the trend is The Convenience. Located in one of the city’s trendy spots, The Convenience is an all-around eatery. It is a café in the daytime and a casual bar by nightfall. Unlike WC, The Convenience refurbished its 1940’s-public-restroom setting with a completely modern and sanitized vibe. Though the restroom tiles and the toilets are preserved, they are kept white and pristine to make the restaurant more inviting to the customers and to their appetite.

One of the most distinguished toilet-turned-restaurant, on another note, is the Attendant. A small coffee-and-food bar, the Attendant is famous for its unique and creative structure. Its entrance is fenced with an iron-gate exterior that leads down to the bistro itself. Though humble in size, the bar is highly recommended for its food. Its menu includes cold sandwiches and salads, as well as its practical revamps. The old toilet stalls are altered into pillars to support dining benches while the toilet bowls are used as flower pots.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you dine in these places? Why or why not?
·         If you were to design a restaurant out of an old restroom, how would you make use of the old toilets? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think these public restrooms were turned into places specifically for dining? Please explain your answer.
·         Aside from restaurants and bars, what other kind of community-friendly places can old public restrooms be renovated into?

December 25, 2014