To anyone who has noticed the two decommissioned red telephone boxes in the bustling cultural hub of Brighton’s New Road and thought ‘what a missed opportunity’, as it turns out, you’re not alone.
One box had previously been used as a coffee shop during festival season, until one man decided he wanted to take the reins and make it a year-round café – and thus, Dialling in Kiosk was born.
Founder Greg Ackerley was already in the early stages of opening a coffee shop in Brighton with West Sussex coffee roasters Coffee Compass, who supply his beans, when the opportunity arose.
He said: “Coffee is one of my greatest passions and one of life’s simplest pleasures. For months we had been looking all over for a small shop in an area deprived of caffeine – not an easy feat.
“When you finally find one, the landlord is usually unreasonable in their demands, if not then someone else comes in and offers way over the odds for the shop. Seven months later and I came across a phone box in the city centre in need of a new owner. It’s worked out perfectly.”
Greg has also been offered the other telephone box next to his makeshift cafe, and hopes to use it to bring gelato (in partnership with Marrocco’s of Hove) and juices to New Road in the summer.
There are several other uses for old red telephone boxes across the country, including a library, pop up art gallery and as storage for a defibrillator, among a handful of red phone box coffee shops.
Greg added: “It’s important to breathe new life in to phone boxes because they are so iconic to Britain, and really help areas to retain a sense of character among relentless modernisation and overdevelopment.”
Dialling In Kiosk’s opening hours are 8.30am to 2.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm Sat and 10am to 3pm Sun.
Exclusive offer for BN1 readers: For £2 coffee for all of April, take this magazine to Dialling In Kiosk and say, “Grind for me” (regular cups only; large cups 30p extra, oat milk available for extra charge).