Take 5 is located at 72 Stokes Croft, Bristol, UK. This is an historic building of Bristol, renovated in 2005. 200 years ago, this was a shoe shop. Then, we suspect, it was used for storing wine. After the second world war, it was run as a greasy spoon café for 40 years by a greek couple. In the early 90s, it was used illegally, and known locally, as an amazing and THE free party rave venue of Bristol, which was constantly being raided by the police but was absolutely popular.
In December 1996, a migrant to this country from Malaysia, nicknamed Jake, took over this café. In 2000 he bought this building and later modernised it whilst retaining its entire architectural heritage. This café has evolved through many twists and turns since Jake took over in 1996. Jake’s background and interests are varied, with a degree and post-graduate qualifications in economics, as well as education and experience in the catering industry, having worked in managerial positions in local hotels during the 90s. He has a vision of life and business that is not self-serving, but empowers and serves people.
In the late 90s, Jake with the help of an English gentleman called Craig converted Take 5 into a licenced multi-cuisine and multi-use venue. It was also used as an after-party venue for clubs in this area and a 24 hour weekend café that became amazingly popular in Bristol, the South West of UK, and received mention in International DJ magazine in the centre spread of one of its issues. It quickly became a pioneer of the fast changing café and multi-cuisine culture of the UK, receiving mention in the local BBC news and Evening Post, national newspapers and a few years ago, chosen as amongst the top five cafés in Bristol by Venue magazine, apart from other positive reviews elsewhere.
One of Jake’s strengths is that one of his great passions and hobbies is cooking and serving home-made food. He gets help from his team to cook anything from breakfasts, to curries to food for weddings. Being of Malaysian Sikh Indian background he prepares food very lovingly from various different Asian countries and if you step into his cafe kitchen you will see a very wide array of herbs, spices, oils, vegetables etc from around the world. Even with well trained employees at hand, he finds it very very hard to resist the temptation to slip into the kitchen and prepare food for customers with his own hands. Everything on the menu is prepared from scratch and he even prepares the condiments such as chutneys and pickles. You can find Jake’s recipes on this site.
Among those who have supported and encouraged Take5 was Valerie Davie, the former MP of Bristol West, who had an inherent sincere interest in the urban renewal of Stokes Croft. The local police community support officers did and still do their share by advising us on various issues. Local small business support organisations such as CEED, BRAVE, BEDF have all helped and still help the business to grow.
In the year 2000, a University of Bristol student called Danny had his birthday party here and utilised the cellar space for music and dance. His close mate Dan then chose to use this venue to lauch his currently famous DJ group called Dissident by holding weekly student parties here. From then on, this place established a reputation till present as a venue to hold weekend late night parties till 4 am, used for student parties, birthday parties, leaving do’s, charity parties and also by emerging new DJ groups such as Bruk, Pengsound, Work and others as their lauching pad. The licence was adjusted by Jake to accommodate for this changing scenario.
In 2003, a well known Norwegian electronic musician called Rob got involved who later took over the mantle from Craig. Rob added Scandinavian character to the cafe in many different ways which is most evident as you walk in to the cafe and notice light coloured furniture, simplicity of design, and thoughtfulness in many other ways to reduce intensity and to help relax.
In 2005, the cafe was shut for renovation between February and October. This helped the building and cafe to meet the latest planning standards and regulations, and redesign it, according to the changing demand for its usage. Since reopening in 2005, we have continued serving people and running the cafe till the present, constantly working to improve ourselves.
Take 5 Cafe has a team that loves serving people irrespective of age, sex, sexuality, colour, race, religion, and anything else that divides humanity, destroys the environment and presses any self destruct button of this planet we are blessed to live on, called Earth, which is amazingly awesome in this universe.