(as a blog project and a getting-to-know-Brighton-and-Hove-project, I will be periodically reviewing coffee shops in the local area, I hope you enjoy)
The Hub in Hove had stellar online reviews and boasted a 5 star hygiene rating so, naturally, I was enthusiastic to make it my first caffeine venture since moving to the area. It was a cold afternoon, and once I'd made the walk down Church Rd I was looking forward to some respite in the warm with a cappuccino and a book. The place was empty except for one other table, so the initial walking in alone and asking for a single coffee felt uncomfortable, although to her credit, the one member of staff present was extremely friendly and made me feel somewhat more relaxed. I ordered my cappuccino and took a seat on a sofa at the front of the shop, the coffee was brought over to me quickly - although presumably mostly due to the lack of any other customers. The layout and menu of the place suggested more of a restaurant than a coffee shop, in fact I later heard the waitress telling another customer (one more came in later) that it was a restaurant, but the closing time suggests otherwise. They close at 5pm and the kitchen closes at 4, therefore not quite tapping into either bench of clientele. The decor was okay but lacking any character. I appreciate sofas in coffee shops but I don't see the point in them if said sofa is an uncomfortable, boring leather one adorned with, frankly, hideous striped cushions. Perhaps slightly harsh, the coffee tables were nice. Although they could have done with some cool and interesting books and magazines for the cool and interesting punters to peruse.
Coffee: Fine. Not quite filled to the top of the mug though. Pet hate of mine.
Food: I can't comment as I didn't order any. I've heard it's nice though and the menu looks good. I expected more cakes on display, when I went there was just a carrot cake on the counter. For it to be a proper coffee shop, they'd need considerably more sugary treats. (There may be cakes available when the kitchen is open, I don't know).
Service: Very good, friendly and relaxed.
Decor: Bad. They don't know what they are. The front of the shop looks like a badly dressed coffee shop and the back like a chain Italian restaurant.
Potential to become a regular: none. I look for bustling, welcoming, warm, laden with books, good coffee (preferably with cool latte art), delicious selection of cakes on display, a place to work, read or bring a friend. The Hub simply didn't tick enough boxes for me.