The Dorothy Cafe

Cambridge District Scout Archives

Developed from the first tea shop in Cambridge (1900) it was significantly rebuilt in 1931.

Based in Sidney Street and now the site of Waterstones bookshop the Dorothy contained a number of function rooms some large enough for dancing or dining.  It appears to have been the usual space for large scale formal events and maybe the only large space available for public hire that offered food.  It was said to be able to hold 2000, but whether that was all the rooms combined is not clear.

  • Teas hosted by the President Mr Church
  • Scout Boat Club celebrations

Whilst the tea rooms became dated the dance hall, a dated term in itself, hosted Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Velvet Underground and The Who.

It closed in 1972

The space was subsequently partly occupied by Dillons’ bookshop, Henekey Tavern and then the Chicago Rock Cafe in the basement.  Dillons took over the whole space in 1997.

JWR Archivist May 2020