A NEW cafe and espresso bar has opened in Carlisle city centre.

Espresso Hub has opened at the Old Town Hall in a shop that used to be home to Alternative.

Cath Bell has opened the cafe and says she was attracted to the site because of its location.

She said: “We opened on Monday, May 20 and the first week went really well.

“Coffee and scones were very popular. We’ve been busy and I think the good weather has helped.”

Espresso Hub serves Carvetti Coffee, which is brewed in Threlkeld.

Cath said: “I’ve always been in the catering trade. I’ve been a baker then in the pub trade and I’ve run guests houses and B&Bs.

“The location is great - right in the middle of the city centre. I’m hoping it will be popular with tourists in the summer.”

The cafe also sells Marshfield ice cream, doggy ice cream, snacks, teacakes, tapas, sandwiches and is licensed too.

“We sell wine of course and prosecco,” said Cath.

“We’re hoping to serve afternoon teas soon. We are also available for private parties.”

Espresso Hub is open seven-days-a-week and employs five people, including Cath’s two sons, Nicholas, 50 and Martin, 49.

Tony and Elaine Bell shut the Carlisle branch of Alternative last March saying the High Street is a “challenging place and changing at a great pace.”

They still have another branch in Keswick town centre.