Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lego Corner Café; My Own Version

My version of Lego's Corner Cafe, with adaptations .

For several years now I have been collecting the LEGO modular street series, but I missed a few of the first sets when they were launched, and they have since been discontinued. The first set in the series was the Corner Café, which I well remember admiring several times in the LEGO shop, but was never able to afford. 

The cafe sign took some working out, fixing it to the building securely wasn't easy!

The original Corner Café sets now sell on ebay for huge sums of money, I have seen an unboxed one selling for over £2500.00!! and built sets sell for about £500. This is clearly crazy as the bricks are worth nothing like that sort of money, and I though I could probably buy all the bricks to build it directly from LEGO Pick a Brick, at a much lower cost. Fortunately, I do happen to have a few LEGO bricks already, so this wasn't really necessary. 

How the Cafe looks next to some official Lego sets in the series

Recently I discovered that it is possible to download copies of all LEGO sets launched since 2002 from their LEGO website. This is FREE!! 

My memories of the Café set were dimmed by the passing of time and the quality of more recent sets, I have to say that I was slightly disappointed when I saw the Café set in print. For example, there was absolutely no interior detail apart from a staircase. the cafe had seats and tables outside, but none inside, no counter, and no coffee machine! the hotel (above the café) lacked rooms, beds or reception! 

This clearly would not do! I was also disappointed with the first floor. It just didn't look good to me. Fortunately, having the building instructions for the original meant that I could keep all the elements of the building I liked, alter the bits I didn't and make improvements inside. 

The cafe interior, not included in the original set. I kept some of the  colours used in the original model  as a  tribute (yes, the lamps are from my spare 2015 Valantine's set)

Now, I have probably got a good couple of hundred thousand Lego bricks, but even with this huge stash to choose from there were certain bricks I didn't have, or certain colours that were not available. I could buy some of the extra bricks I needed from Lego's Pick a Brick service online, and much of the roof was done this way, albeit in a different colour. However, I thought it would be fun to use as many of my own bricks as possible before buying any more bricks from Lego.

The counter with tasty treats and coffee machine (the dark red bricks look great for this!)

The result is what you see posted here, some parts of the building are identical to the original, some are a different colour, but are built in the same way as the original, and some are completely different. 

I chose Italian colours for the awning and seating,  as I didn't have enough yellow bow bricks , which were used in the original set

I had a great deal of fun building this set, sometimes it took forever to find all the bricks I needed, and puzzle how to build in alternative ways whilst keeping the spirit of the original.

the small hotel reception, complete with room keys and 'corporate' carpet. the hotel also has rooms upstairs, lacking in the original set!!

I even created a hotel lobby with reception desk in the limited space available by pushing the stair case back into the rear of the building, instead of started just inside the doorway. It comes complete with groovy 'corporate' carpet!


  1. LEGO Mania!!! Andy, this is Awesome! Your devotion to the Art of LEGO construction is incredible! This must have taken so much patience to Design and collect all the necessary pieces in the right colors!!!
    My boys had Tons of LEGOs when they were growing up... they all ended up in a large "tray" (really a shallow dresser drawer) on the playroom floor and whenever they couldn't find a piece they needed they would beg me to come in and help them search through all the LEGOs to find the right one! I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees searching!
    Your version of the Cafe with the extra details is so creative and really takes an understanding of all the details needed to construct it right! Bravo for such devotion to the LEGO World! It really looks like a lot of fun!

  2. Wow. I remeber when Lego sets were simple and not so costly. Your collection is HUGE and your improvements to the interior are fabulous =0)

  3. First: I am thrilled to see you have a new post!
    That Lego work you did, man, what a hell of a job! have you got any feeling in your fingers left? You did a great job on it, though.
    Love the inside rooms, the coffeemachine... it looks just as if Lego designed it by their own. No, even better.
    I've got a Lego trauma from when my son had a lot of Lego, he built cars with it and indian villages and islands and I don't know what else. But he was not the most patient one at that time and if he got irritated he threw the lot through his room on the floor. The number of times I've stepped into one of those Lego bricks! And the hours I spent sorting them out...
    But that's off topic. Love your use of colors, your work just rises the spirit just by looking at it.
    You did a great job in putting this together AND making all the additions. Love it!

  4. Thanks for your comments! I know Lego isn't strictly a dolls' house subject, but I have posted a few things about Lego before, and it is something I really enjoy, to an extent it has taken over from miniatures for a while, which is partly why my blog was in mothballs for so long! I love hearing how you all had lLego or children with Lego in the past, I had a set for Christmas once, years ago, and have never looked back! I amassed tonnes of Lego then gave the lot to my sister to sell to raise some money for her kids, but missed it so much I have slowly built my collection up again, and there are so many different elements these days! My first set was mostly square or rectangular bricks with a few slopes and some big bobble headed people. the new sets are full of details I could only have imagined years ago!

    I do think it's a shame that they don't encourage kids to build their own things so much these days, the kits are fun, but it's using your own imagination to create whatever you like that makes Lego so much fun! That's sort what the message was in their recent blockbuster movie!

    Finding the right brick can be a nightmare, I have sorted mine to a certain degree, but still have a lot of searching to do if I want a particular piece I KNOW i have got SOMEWHERE!! ;) and I know from personal experience what treading on tiny sharp cornered Lego pieces with bare feet feels like!! LOL!


  5. Hi Andy, Just wanted to share with you the joy of completing this great project! One of my favorite past times when I was young was building houses out of Lego, this takes me back to that so much. I can imagine the fun (and frustrations, at times) of a project like this. I am rather impressed, to be truthful. You've created something wonderful! I can imagine it being a tad heavy too! :0)
    Don't put your back out moving it around! :0)


  6. Chapeau... your Lego-Café is awesome! You can be proud of this project - and I think it was good that you had to do it the Andy-way. Now it's unique and special and better as a kit for so much money could ever be. Btw I think this fits well to a blog about miniatures... ;O) And I agree with what you said in your reply - the kits for kids leave no more room for any fantasy these days. It's stunning how detailed they are and how many nice ideas the designer put in them - but they kill creativity... and get boring after a short time.


  7. Flippin heck, Andy! I hat an amazing job!! I have been "watching" certain Lego items in eBay recently, ones from my childhood that I am desperately clinging on to, and have stopped short of purchasing due to the incredible prices!
    Perhaps I should download the instructions and get myself over to a Store!?
    Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories.
    Si x

  8. Great corner building. Love all the detail you have added.

  9. Hello Andy,

    I LOVE Lego! I am so happy you were able to find the instructions. You did a terrific job and I am really thrilled you decided to finish the interior. I was surprised they did not finish it or at least offer separate kits to dress up the inside.
    What fun!
    Big hug,

  10. Hello Andy,
    By the way you write about it it is obvious that you really like to build with Lego. So it is completely legit for you to post about that instead of dolls house projects.
    As long as you do where your heart lies, I enjoy reading about it.
    So keep those posts coming!
    Hope you're having a great summer