When London Online was first launched in the mid 1990s, cybercafes were a new phenomenon. The World Wide Web was in its infancy and few people had Internet access at home, ISPs being much more expensive than today. So it's not hard to see how the Cybercafe formula - great coffee, relaxed atmosphere and Internet access took off.
It all started off in London with the opening of Cyberia on 39 Whitfield Street in the area known as 'Fitzrovia' near Goodge Street tube. Cyberia was started by Gene Teare and Eva Pascoe, two ambitious women, who wanted to create a relaxed environment of good coffee and internet consoles. Their concept was simple, and despite early teething problems, (the cafe was initially aimed at attracting women to the web, a worthy goal which is still part of the ongoing philosophy) the cafe was opened to men and women alike, and so the media circus began. A tie up with Easynet who were based in the offices above ensured that the cafe received a high standard of Internet service and benefited from each technological advancement.
After Cyberia had proven itself, so the worldwide onslaught began, with cafes springing up in every possible location. Cyberia, not one to miss out on the fun, made franchises available, and the empire grew. The installation of a Cyberia in the Pompidou centre in Paris was the first stage of their European domination.
Fast forward 20 years and things have of course moved on. Widespread Internet access on mobile phones has enabled the population to surf the Web anywhere, and London's many cafes are amongst the most popular places to do so. Below is a list of cafes in London.