A 1940s-themed café has reopened in a new venue in Bucks, with its owner promising customers an even more authentic trip back in time.

Chris Miller, 43, the “one man band” entrepreneur behind the Air Raid Shelter Café and Tea Room, formerly inside the Chilterns Shopping Centre, said he is “more excited than ever” to welcome residents into the café’s new site – the former venue of his recently closed bar Sosh Club in Frogmoor, High Wycombe.

A grand opening on Friday, September 29, saw the ribbon to the new building being cut by 97-year-old World War II veteran John Pearce and brought together a community that Chris said has been essential to the opening of the new site.

“There isn’t generally that much footfall in Frogmoor – something I learned with Sosh Club – but we’re a destination café and so far, people have made the effort to come and have a look around.

“I want to make the most of having a bigger site, so there’s going to be a village hall space where we’d like to have events and live music and there will be a B&B with two bedrooms, named after King George V and Queen Elizabeth II."

Following the closure of Sosh Club in July, Chris is keen to invest all of his energy into one business and is proud of the place the Air Raid Shelter and Café already holds in the hearts of many long-term Wycombe residents.

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“My grandparents were born in the 1940s and I love the community spirit of that generation – everyone pulled together in the face of the war in a way that became relevant again during the pandemic.

“It’s something I know others in the area are also passionate about – people have been coming in dressed up in 1940s outfits and praising the authenticity and history of the place.

“They've been chipping in with the painting, too, and bringing all sorts of donations to display around the café. Someone brought in a 1940s telephone and someone else brought a bicycle used by midwives during the Blitz."

Chris has also taken the opportunity to invest in more authentic décor from the period, including original Victorian windows – and is hopeful that the new space will attract school groups alongside regular customers to learn something about Second World War history.

Alongside offering more space for events and overnight guests, the new Air Raid Shelter Café and Tea Room will also stay open till late on the weekends, has an alcohol license and is dog friendly.

The café is now open for business, but it’s still partly a work in progress. Chris is aiming to completely wrap up the renovations by November 11, in time to host an armistice event for veterans and their families.

“I just hope that people will continue to come and that I’ll be able to turn it into a real business. Everyone has been amazing so far – I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without the support of this community.”