Fab Cafe

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2 reviews
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46 Woodhouse Lane,

(0113) 244 9009

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Review byTacita Vero'20/05/2008
It's unclear if Fab (or should that be FAB) Cafe is the product of a brilliant or sick mind. One thing’s for sure - the place is bizarre and it's so mad and out there it's almost endearing.

The Venue
Walk down the stairs and you'll find yourself in a strange world. Imagine all your teen dreams brought together in one room with colourful lights to distort everything to make it that bit more weird.

In glass cabinets there are all sorts of rare comic books, figures from Star Wars, cards from the James Bond movies, Ghost World dolls and everything else that is at the same time geeky, retro and somewhat cool to have. On the walls there are posters of Alien, cult-film Metropolis and obscure B-movies. On the screens you can watch old movie series for hours on end. Visually there's more to it than you can grasp in just one visit.

A football table and very old arcade games provide entertainment and the place looks cave-like as it's quite dark and completely devoid of natural light.

The People
Fab Cafe really is quite mad. At first sight it'll either make you smile or smirk with derision. In the end this is the material realisation of someone who is nostalgic and the retro knick knacks are something people of a certain age will adore.

So who likes this place? Only geeks? Only teenagers? Well there are an array of unexpected urban tribes populating Fab Cafe. There's the emo crowd come in with super skinny jeans and haircuts covering their faces. There are also some older geeks in love with the stuff on display and cheerful groups of early twenty-somethings wearing bright colours.

The music caters to all of these with pop, indie, emo and the odd tune from a few decades ago. And, if you pass the initial shock and stay long enough, you may discover that Fab Cafe is actually quite good fun.

The Food
Foodies beware. Actually start running fast as the Heinz soup monster is out to get you. The menu of Fab Cafe is to be praised for its honesty if nothing else. They serve microwaved tinned food and don't try to hide it. On the contrary, they are quite proud of it.

Their TV Dinners - on the menu for ten years running - score absolutely zero for creativity. The main dish is the three piece combo (£2.40) where you can pick from fish fingers, spaghetti hoops, ravioli, corned beef, tinned spaghetti Bolognese supernoodles, crispy pancakes and many other items which are miles away from being anywhere near fresh.

It is food for geeks or students with no money. Otherwise you can get a Thing On Toast (£1.3 to 2.30) which offers such student food classics as tinned ravioli on a waffle.

The Drink
The real target customer of Fab Cafe seems to be someone in their thirties who can still remember all this stuff but still yearns for their penniless student days. The prices are a reflection of this and you will find that drinking and especially eating - if you dare - is very cheap.

The selection of beers is quite basic but draughts are only £2.30 to £2.60 while bottles are £2.10 to £2.90. There is even less wine to choose from but a bottle of white or red is priced at a reasonable £10. Rose is a bit more expensive at £12. And if you are too poor even for that they have deals on selected nights. Bottles of selected beers are only £1, draughts at £2.50, double vodka and mixer £2.50 and shots at £1.

The Last Word
Where else can you find a cult television and movie theme bar? Because this is what Fab Cafe is and it's unique. Just like Marmtite it’s a love-it or hate-it affair. To find out if you love it or hate it you have to visit at least once. And chances are you will love it.

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Content updated: 29/10/2015 17:14