Introducing Jonathan from Gershwins
Jun 22, 2021
“We’ve welcomed a fair share of celebrities to Gershiwns since my mother first took it over in 1989. Catherine Zeta Jones, Dirty Den from Eastenders, Melinda Messenger, and I even found myself playing a game of cards here with the full All Blacks squad in 2015.
“There’s something about this place that keeps pulling people back. It feels like home to so many and we’ve had regulars that have visited us every day for 30 years.
“My mother loved to cook. After her and my dad divorced in the 80s, she decided to take over this café. She got the keys and introduced lots of ‘new’ types of food to Swansea. Back then, the concept of jacket potatoes with fillings was totally unusual, but they’re now a firm favourite.
“Her cappuccinos were iconic – a mug of coffee, a splash of milk and loads of squirty cream. Completely different to traditional cappuccinos but it was new and exciting in the 80s. Alongside Kardomah, we were one of the original Swansea coffee houses.
“I worked here to support my mother on the weekends, as a Saturday job, I never thought I’d end up buying the business from her when she retired. I studied economics in the University of East Anglia as I wanted to experience living far away from home. I even taught at Swansea College for a while, but something kept pulling me back to the café.
“We’ve seen a lot of things in Gershwins over the years, there are lots of stories to tell.
“There have been multiple proposals, a big M&S Christmas party with a DJ, lights and table dancing, and our head chef, Mike, even met his partner here; she was a customer, they met, fell in love and now have a child together.
“There’s something about cafés like this that stand the test of time. It’s a place filled with nostalgia, familiarity and our customers are like family. I remember one elderly customer that used to come here, dressed to the nines in her hat and finest outfits, for her weekend glasses of sherry.
“While we’ve adapted our menu over the years, there’s one thing we can never remove- my mother’s vegetable cawl. It’s been a firm favourite for 33 years, it’s just as iconic as the place itself.”