Droitwich shisha bar critics branded ‘old goats’ for forcing the U-turn
Diamond Coffee Bar in Droitwich is more glamorous than most cafes with its VIP-style red rope entrance and sophisticated gold lettering sign. But it’s a far cry from when it opened in the upscale Worcestershire town, causing an uproar among some locals over its original appearance.
Diamond was to be the historic city’s first shisha bar. He had just put up a vibrant, multi-coloured fascia with a playful hookah pipe on the corner of Worcester Road and Saltway in September when Facebook became packed with comments on Droitwich’s page Spotted.
“I don’t know what shisha is? cried many worried older residents, another commented “Droitwich is not the place for this kind of establishment, more suited to central Birmingham”. While others worried about its appearance among the black and white half-timbered buildings of Droitwich.
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Within weeks, the owner reconsidered and told the community that the bar would change direction with no shisha but saying there would be “good coffee” and plenty of cocktails. Shortly after, the vibrant fun sign was replaced with the gold and darker gold lettering.
Golden symbols of diamonds, a cocktail and a cafe have replaced the shisha pipe in the leafy town off the M5 at Junction 5. It’s a place that has hosted celebrities from Rik Mayall to England cricketer Ashley Giles and has its own castle, lido and farm known for making some of the best ice cream in the Midlands.
“I can see my coffee has caused some controversy,” Diamond owner Emirjan Lusha wrote in response. “I acquired the site to help bring it back to life and create something special for the people of Droitwich. We have spent over £70,000 on fitting out the bar alone.
“Please don’t worry about the shisha element as we will no longer be offering shisha. All signage needs a complete rebranding.” He added at the time: “Please don’t be negative until you give us a chance.”
Months later, that call seems to have paid off as this is a popular and bustling cafe open from 8:30am to 11pm. Both the interior and exterior are chic and elegant and the interior features a stunning wall with a diamond lit up in neon pink and the words “coffee now, cocktails later”.
There is a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere around the cafe as it serves all styles of coffee, milkshakes, all day breakfasts, burgers and a range of cocktails. Outside there is a beer garden on a wooden terrace and sheltered from the busy B4090.
The garden was originally intended for shisha smokers but works for both food and drink. There is a stylish mural of painted leaves and twinkling lights that come on after dark.
While shisha is no longer on the table, the uproar and change of direction has left a bad taste in the mouths of young residents. Hayley Boukdir said: “Droitwich’s moaning old goats have made it and no shisha bar now. Let’s just keep Droitwich as boring as ever.”
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Natalie Costello was also disappointed, moaning that it would have been “a little different and fun”.
Diamond Coffee Bar is in St George’s Square at the junction of Worcester Road and Saltway traffic lights in Droitwich. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.