Regulars at a former popular café just outside Watford have taken over the location to keep it alive.

Coffee& opened on Monday (May 13) in the Bean Here unit just off the Hunton Bridge roundabout in Hempstead Road.

Owners Simon and Sara Marzell used to visit for a coffee and croissant when walking their dogs and thought it was “a real shame” when it permanently closed after 10 years in February.

Watford Observer: Coffee&Coffee& (Image: Stephen Danzig)

Simon happened to know the landlord and sent a message saying ‘maybe I should open a coffee shop’ so he could keep visiting. Despite initially being a joke, the idea stuck and a few months later Coffee& was born.

A banner advertising the opening said “Coffee&…You’ve ‘been here’ before” and the Marzells are trying to offer the same type of café experience they had enjoyed at Bean Here.

“What we tried to do is look at the property to see where we could create extra space and expand the food offering without losing the atmosphere,” Simon, 61, added.

Watford Observer: Coffee&.Coffee&. (Image: Stephen Danzig)

“Customers can use their imagination with what they want to put after the & - a bit of pastry, a sandwich, whatever they like.”

The couple have never been in the coffee business before but are retailers by profession. They live within walking distance of the location and are now semi-retired with family largely running their other businesses.

The attitude they are taking into the new venture is that “in life you only regret the things you don’t do”.

Watford Observer: Coffee&.Coffee&. (Image: Stephen Danzig)

Future plans include adding more outdoor covered seating and getting in touch with local clubs and groups to help them make use of Coffee&.

The menu includes croissants, sourdough toasties, paninis, pastries, sandwiches, sausage rolls, smoothies, ice cream, gelato, and of course coffee.

Coffee& is open 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

So far it has proved popular with eager customers ready for coffee when it opens at 8am each day.