Art Café Changes Hands


Posted by News Editor

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art café


Winchester Today has had a four-year-plus relationship with the Art Café in Jewry Street, so we’re a little sad that John Hayes and Chris Polatch have decided to call it a day and move on from the premises – which in its time, in our opinion, sold the best coffee in the city.

Here’s the message that John has sent out today: “Chris and I have sold the Art Café which, of course, only existed because of its customers – so we’d both like to thank everyone who has attended an event there, a private view, watched a film, visited the art gallery, sipped a cup of coffee or simply passed through our doors. THANK YOU. We’d also like to thank our managers, Pia, Lilly, Jess, Pen, Kin and Cassie, and St Johns for being such supportive landlords. We loved running the Art Café, but everything comes to an end, and for new things to flourish, some things must end.”

Winchester Today helped our own Rachel stage her first ever solo exhibition ‘The Forgotten Workers’ – which was staged at the Art Café between 20 October and 2 November 2014.

art café

(John helps Rachel hang her exhibition ‘The Forgotten Workers’)

John told Winchester Today that his focus is now firmly on the projects he loves – the satire magazine SMUG (watch out for some guerrilla manoeuvres we’re told), the Winchester Short Film Festival – and something new up his sleeve. Winchester Today will continue to help the Winchester Short Film Festival as media partner.

As for Chris, he’s continuing to run his empire – English Naturally.

John says he’s not sure what the future holds for the Art Café, or what it will eventually be called, but he wishes the new owners the best of luck.