Fine Lines - Mario's Cafe & Other Prints by Lisa Scott
I am an artist and printmaker living in Kentish Town. My family has been coming to Mario's for ten years - longer than some, but not as long as many others. We are deeply attached not just to the cafe itself, but to what it represents - continuity and community.
Quality of life is hard to define. It can be measured in things great and small, visible and sometimes invisible. My show is a celebration of this unique place. I've created a series of eleven original etchings inspired by everything from the irresistible hand cut chips to Mario's collection of vintage chairs.
In addition I'm showing sixteen prints on other subjects from my recent work. All of the etchings in the show are hand printed and available in limited editions.
Artists who have previously exhibited at Marios Cafe....
The year was 1958 when my grandfather Mario opened up ‘Tony’s Restaurant’ at 6 Kelly Street. He hailed from the Puglia region of Italy and had decided to name the place after his son and my dad, Tony.
Things bobbed along nicely for several years, attracting lots of students from the local Polytechnic just around the corner. Polytechnic’s gone now, its luxury flats, as you’d expect.
Then in true Italian fashion, Tony had a bust up with Mario and walked out, leaving Mario to run the place alone. He struggled to continue without him and eventually leased the place to a Chinese family. So in 1974 ‘Tony’s Restaurant’ became ‘The Golden Sun’.
10 years passed before the lease was up for renewal and for reasons best known to him, my grandfather refused to lease it to the Chinese family. So it sat empty for 4 years during which time he passed away. It was then, Tony (my dad) found himself redundant from the Greek restaurant he’d been working at. He was aged 55. So striking a deal with his siblings, the place opened up as a cafe again.
So much to our disapproval ‘Mario’s Cafe’ was born on 6th June 1989 and this time they named it after me! At the time I was an uneducated unemployed pot smoking wannabe rock star, so I was roped in to help out. I was only supposed to be there for a year until I realised how much music was associated with the area. The Falcon Pub quickly becoming my favourite music venue.
After a year, my dad had a heart attack, had to go off to have triple bypass surgery and left me holding the baby so to speak. I’m still here and the rest is history....
A small selection of photos of the cafe as it is today.