CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Jalucy Coffee Shop
Hidden away on the northwest edge of Sheffield, Hillsborough doesn't seem a likely location for a coffeehouse. Its main claim to fame is as the site of the Hillsborough Football Disaster of April 1989, in which 96 fans were crushed to death at Sheffield Wednesday's stadium during an FA Cup Semi Final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. Hillsborough is also the birthplace of the late Steve Clark, guitarist for Def Leppard, who is now spending his eternity in nearby Wisewood Cemetery.
So I was surprised when I was walking down Langsett Road a few months ago and happened to notice Jalucy. This cafe is open all afternoon, which is a good thing to know when so many lunch and coffee cafes close after lunch. Besides coffee the cafe serves sandwiches, jacket potatoes, salads, and paninis. And all espresso drinks, which you can either drink in or take away, are also available in decaf and can be made skinny -- just like in your typical Seattle coffeehouse.
And it's right on Langsett Road, with a view of the Supertram tracks and the Deep End and Mr Tse's Chinese Restaurant across the road, with Hillsborough Corner a few steps away. It's also located very close to the Hillsborough Interchange, where all those scary First Buses meet to pick up their next victims. (Sorry for the sarcasm, but you'd be a bit wary as well if you'd been run over by a bus.) Jalucy is also quite close to Morrison's, the most massive supermarket I've ever experienced -- much bigger than Von's Pavilions in Southern California, and even bigger than the seemingly boundless Larry's Market in Seattle.
When you enter Jalucy you'll find yourself in a slightly odd interior: very spacious and minimalist with a very bland beige lino floor. I sat on one of the brown sofas by the windows and gazed upon the aerosol paintings on the wall and the almost Zenlike single row of 5 houseplants by the door. The overall feeling is sort of minimalist boho meets 1980's-flat-waiting-for-removal-van-to-arrive-with-belongings emptiness. My double macchiato was served in a nice widish but pleasingly curved macchiato-sized cup properly accompanied by a demitasse spoon. The shots seemed a bit on the weak side, which was frustrating because if they'd been a bit stronger I think this would have been a very satisfying macchiato. And seeing as how this is one of the closer espresso cafes to where I live, I would definitely like it to serve a satisfying macchiato, if only to gird my loins before venturing on safari through Morrison's.
As I sat in all that beige-brown space and sipped my drink, I found myself wondering if this might be the only coffeehouse where I've had an espresso which lies directly in a former disaster area, namely the Sheffield Flood of 1864. It's in the prime location to have been washed away by the raging "Inundation" caused by the rupture of the Dale Dyke Dam above Bradfield, which flooded a large portion of 19th century Sheffield and washed at least 250 people to their deaths, along with their homes, livelihoods, and animals. Is it possible there could have been a coffeehouse on this very site back then? After all, British coffeehouses date back as far as the 17th century and served as business centres, social clubs, and post offices. Granted, most of these were in London; but why not in the industrial North as well? I can just picture all those Victorian filesmiths and table knife grinders and beerhouse keepers and pullers-out, meeting democratically on this spot to discuss life in the steel works and grinding wheels while they sip their skinny decaf hazelnut lattes...
Speaking of death and dying reminds me of a recent conversation with my Bay Area friend:Proof there is a god? If so, a sadistic god. Saturday I noticed a large arrangement of flowers around the pedestrian crossing signal in front of Peet's coffee and across from Arizmendi bakery, where I stop nearly every morning on my way to work. This all occurred in view of Peet's customers enjoying an afternoon coffee. The nun was running. The cement truck was crawling (7 mph, according to another article). What sort of god would inflict this pain on these people?