News Story

In 1825, the East Range of the building now known as the Fireworks Factory – where you’ll find our café bar on the ground floor – became part of the Royal Laboratory, which was first established on the Arsenal site under William III in 1696. Look out the café windows, you can see ‘pepper pot’ guard houses flanking the pier, they were built in 1814-15 and were the main points of entry to the site from the river. Important visitors came from all over the world, and many of them are logged in the Royal Ordnance Factories Visitors’ Book. We’ve taken some of the signatures from that book and recreated them in neon on the exposed brick walls of this amazing space. The signatures tell some of the stories of the people who came to Woolwich throughout its rich history.

Shewa Hagos from Blue Nile
A render of the Woolwich Works cafe, a long room with exposed brick walls, wooden floors, white pillars through the middle of the room, and a sleek bar with neon signage above.

This has always been a room in which people of different cultures and nationalities were proudly introduced to Woolwich. Nearly 200 years later, we hope to bring it back to life as a busy, buzzing space that welcomes people from across the community and shows off some of the best of the borough to visitors from beyond. Food is a constant cultural celebration, so what better way to encourage our visitors to discover Woolwich than finding some local friends to help with our menu? Our main courses are made up of signature dishes from the people who run some of Woolwich’s amazing restaurants and traditional recipes from people who are active in its cultural community – the first dishes will be coming from Tenzin Dakpa at Kailash Momo and Shewa Hagos at Blue Nile.

Want to be part of our café team?

It takes skills to run a good café bar, so we’ll be looking for some talented local people to work with us to bring it to life over the next few months. We're also working with local education partners to create meaningful work experience opportunities both in the café and our venue. We’re committed to creating good jobs and building meaningful progression routes to employment, so if you work with us you’ll get plenty of training and work-based learning opportunities. We hope you’ll leave with more than just your salary, but that’s important too – so we’re committed to being a London Living Wage employer. To be the first to find out about these opportunities, follow us on our social channels or check our our Jobs and Opportunities page.