North London Cafe | Mario's Cafe

Current Exhibition

Mind The Gap

by Roland Denning

February 2020


A decade ago Roland Denning made a film about Mario’s Café in Kentish Town that helped to make the café world famous. Now he is returning to the café with Mind The Gap, a series of photogrpahs taken on the London Underground. The exhibition will run at Mario’s Cafe, 6 Kelly Street, Kentish Town NW1 8PH, from Saturday 11th January until Saturday 8th February.

Roland Denning, drawn to tales of everyday London, gives us a glimpse of some of the quirky Underground travellers he has observed on the Northern Line.

Londoners generally have a love hate relationship with the underground. Used by almost 4 million people everyday, it can be a challenging environment. It can also be pure theatre and a source of endless fascination for those people-watchers amongst us.

Roland tells us: “I’m not really a photographer, but like everybody, you meet strange characters on the tube every day. These were mostly taken on the Northern Line were an element of cheerful eccentricity can go almost unnoticed. They are basically snapshots - but a few themes emerge - people and animals, people and books and couples at the end of the day”.

To experience the more weird and wonderful aspects of London tube travel, please do call into Mario’s Café over the next month where one quintessential London hotspot celebrates another.

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For more information, please contact Roland Denning at: rd@rolanddenning.co.uk

Roland Denning is a writer and filmmaker resident in Camden Town.

Past Exhibitions

Artists who have previously exhibited at Marios Cafe....

Roland Denning
Ruby Sweet
James Alexander Beggs & David Maurice Black
Gerry Badger
Kenrick Franklin
Nelle Laurent
Paula Chadwick
Aya Tokita
Juan Mateus, Tom Young amp; Gustav Hagild
Aude Van Ryn
Claire Levin
Jeorge Asare-Djan
Nemo Roberts
Mark Coombs
Jo Hodges
Aya Tokita
Joe Carcrey
Richard Jolly
Lisa Hurcum and Hugh Davies
Harry Deansway
Amanda Critchlow
Tom Hogan
Jason Gormley
Dorelle Morgan
Lisa Scott
Jeremy Cooper
Kenneth Toby John Wotherspoon
William Leach
Sonia Lenzi / Gerry Badger
Eddie King
Gareth Halliday
Bettina Schroeder
 

Then....

The year was 1958 when my grandfather Mario opened up ‘Tony’s Restaurant’ at 6 Kelly Street. He hailed from the Puglia region of Italy and had decided to name the place after his son and my dad, Tony.

Things bobbed along nicely for several years, attracting lots of students from the local Polytechnic just around the corner. Polytechnic’s gone now, its luxury flats, as you’d expect.

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Then in true Italian fashion, Tony had a bust up with Mario and walked out, leaving Mario to run the place alone. He struggled to continue without him and eventually leased the place to a Chinese family. So in 1974 ‘Tony’s Restaurant’ became ‘The Golden Sun’.

10 years passed before the lease was up for renewal and for reasons best known to him, my grandfather refused to lease it to the Chinese family. So it sat empty for 4 years during which time he passed away. It was then, Tony (my dad) found himself redundant from the Greek restaurant he’d been working at. He was aged 55. So striking a deal with his siblings, the place opened up as a cafe again.

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So much to our disapproval ‘Mario’s Cafe’ was born on 6th June 1989 and this time they named it after me! At the time I was an uneducated unemployed pot smoking wannabe rock star, so I was roped in to help out. I was only supposed to be there for a year until I realised how much music was associated with the area. The Falcon Pub quickly becoming my favourite music venue.

After a year, my dad had a heart attack, had to go off to have triple bypass surgery and left me holding the baby so to speak. I’m still here and the rest is history....

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Now....

A small selection of photos of the cafe as it is today.

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'Mario's Cafe' (2010)

by Roland Denning



Visit

6 Kelly Street
Kentish Town, London
NW1 8PH

Open

Tuesday - Saturday, 8am - 4pm
Tube: Kentish Town
Bus: 46, 134, 214, 393, C2

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