Turkey Cafe, 24-24 Granby Street, City Of Leicester
The Turkey Café is a Grade II listed building in the Art Nouveau style of architecture. It was designed in 1901 by Arthur Wakerley, a popular Leicester architect. It is a fine example of his interest in exotic and extravagant designs. It was built for restaurateur John Winn, who already owned several cafes in the city, each with a different theme. Cafes were a popular place to meet in this era. Women found them a safe place to meet friends in chic and stylish surroundings. They were also well supported by the temperance movement, which included many prominent Leicester business men such as Arthur Wakerley. The turkey theme of this café is shown in two ways: Wakerley’s interpretation of Turkish architecture and the turkey bird at the top of the building. The building frame is cast iron and the frontage is covered in matt-faced Carraware tiles handmade by the ceramic artist, William Neatby, of Doulton and Company. There were many changes to Granby Street during the inter-war years. Much of the impressive architecture was destroyed, including the original shop front of the Turkey Café. In 1983 Rayners the Opticians took over the premises. They restored the whole of the front to its original design at a cost of £30,000. Replacement tiles were made by Hathernware Ceramics of Loughborough.