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The Cafe on Bank St.

The original home of John Watt + Son

The Cafe on Bank St. is by far the oldest coffee shop attached to the company name in Carlisle and has been a home to John Watt & Son for over a century.

With humble beginnings on a street called Glovers Row (which stood near to Carlisle’s Market Cross) in the town centre, John Watt himself moved his business to 11 Bank St. after his original coffee shop was demolished in 1897. Since then, that little spot on Bank St. has been home to John Watt & Son, selling high quality coffee and tea from around the globe.

During its early days, the Watt family paid rent for The Cafe on Bank St. not with money, but with 6 cases of dog meat as requested by the solicitors; ‘Bright, Brown & Strong’ who occupied the offices above! It’s these tales that give us our story here at John Watt & Son and The Cafe on Bank St it’s charm and character.

We love that we have such a strong history within our business and so have made sure to keep this charm alive as much as we can. If you pay us a visit, then you must pop down to our basement to take a peek at our secret treasure trove of artefacts, local ephemera and vintage coffee equipment that have been collected by John Watt & Son over the years.

Although the shop has undergone several major changes since the move over 120 years ago, from a traditional grocer’s shop to our bustling cafe, we have worked hard to build on the legacy and traditions of John Watt & Son, and continue to use well-kept secret recipes that have been within the business for over a century!

Today we focus on evolution not revolution at The Cafe on Bank St. and believe that it is important to remember the history of John Watt & Son and celebrate it in this wonderful building whilst providing excellent service and, of course, a great brew!

Opening Hours

(Last orders on food 1hr before close, drinks and cakes served until 30mins before close)

Mon – Fri

9:00AM – 4:30PM


8:00AM – 5:00PM




John Watt & Son
11 Bank St