You may or may not have heard of this warehouse-based workspace, but it’s infamous in its own way for coworking in London. Situated right on a picturesque canal in the old up-and-coming ex-factory district of Hackney Wick, this is not just a coworking space: it is one of the places to be for coworking in the UK.
The Big Picture
One of the best things about 90 Main Yard is its management team, the super welcoming Tory, Remi and Bruno. They’re really nice people, and you’ll feel at home instantly – that is, unless Bernie steals you first to take you through his veritable encyclopedia of apps, helping find you that one thing that you really need! (Trust me, he’s even got a team of digital butler-assistants to do his bidding… this guy is really on top of things!)
“The great thing about this place – and you feel it when you come into the building – is the community, the energy, and the love that was put into the project.” -Tori
What You’ll Learn from This Space
You’ll learn that the division between shared and private workspace is not black-and-white. They’ve got smaller shared private rooms, where people can take phone calls and talk semi-privately. A nice middle ground, we think!
Where You’ll Find The Space
If you’ve been to London only a few times, chances are you’re still missing out on one of the coolest districts that seasoned Londoners frequent. Hackney Wick was, in the 19th century, a centre of industry in England. In fact, the use of the word ‘petrol’ was coined here in the 1860s!
The neighbourhood became run down towards the end of the century, and the City of London spent a lot of effort in the meantime fixing it up and making it the blossoming cultural creativity centre that it is today. Exhibition halls and art galleries in reappropriated industrial settings, and a booming loft life in huge shared post-industrial apartments, coworking fits perfect into this diverse part of the city.
Where You’ll Be Working
90 Main Yard is on the top floor of a cool old-school warehouse. Ring the buzzer, head upstairs and you’ll enter a huge open converted space. Big tables spread out through the centre of the room, with loft-style windows letting the light pour in (on a nice London day, which some might say is quite rare).
The space is about 70% residents and 30% flexible workspace – it’s great because there’s a big table in the middle where you can work, so you’ll be right at the heart of Main Yard.
“It’s really cool to transform something into a place where people can work, learn – with affordable rent – and make a space where everything comes together.”
The characteristic thing about this space is the wiring which drapes down from the ceiling above each desk (don’t worry, we’ve checked, it’s safe). They’ve got some meeting rooms and private offices if you’re thinking of settling down and staying a while. Their kitchen has drawers with blackboards on them – a nice touch to see what everyone’s talking about!
Where You’ll Be Living
We always recommend checking out the coworkers currently at 90 Main Yard who can host you directly. To get a true insider’s perspective of the place and space (and to make new, sometimes unexpected, always awesome friends) this is the way to go.
But otherwise, we recommend checking out The Dictionary Hostel. It’s a cool renovation in Shoreditch, not too far from the space. They’ve got a fully stocked kitchen for all of your cooking / dining needs, plus a laundrette just next door that’s only £4.50 to wash all of your dirty stuff. Not bad to crash at for a few days of intense coworking action.
The Events You Will Go To
If you want to get to know the locals who frequent this place, they’ve got lots going on with the sharing economy scene in London. They often co-host workshops and get-togethers with Ouishare, who are pretty cool too. If you’re into something a bit more crazy – like live music, salsa dancing, bingo or zumba lessons – they’ve sometimes got a thing or two extra going on, just ask around and you’ll see what’s on when you go! (Most of their events are free too, which is pretty cool).
Tip! Stop by on Wednesday mornings during their special ‘Bring and Share Breakfast’ – it’s a great way to meet interesting people in the space and in the neighbourhood, with a very congenial atmosphere.
What You Will Eat
A very important element of 90 Main Yard that we haven’t mentioned yet, is that there’s a fantastic restaurant by the same name just downstairs. They have good food and some nice cocktails, blah, blah blah…. but the interesting thing is they have a giant disco ball. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Tip! You have *got* to try the food van downstairs. The owner is really nice, and will often have some very insightful points to make about human nature, and the sandwiches are great for less than a fiver.
Hackney has a thriving nightlife with some very cool bars just a few minutes from the space. First of all: do you like craft beer? Do you like pizza? If not – what’s wrong with you? You’ve got to try Crate Brewery. With pallet benches and plank tables on the canal squared by herb gardens, their handmade pizza and homemade beer is as good as it gets. Nice to be on the canal in the wee hours as well.
If you’re more of a dance type, craving to experience a touch of classic East London nightlife, head just down the street to Shapes where you’ll get a slick assortment of minimal house and electro dance beats. Or head more into town and grab a drink at The Verge Bar, always with an eclectic selection of great music (and good bouncers to keep drunk people outside – trust us, it’s much more enjoyable!)
“Hackney is something very special. The beauty of it is that living East is not about the money, and what you have, but about what you are.” -Remi
The Practical Stuff
The Copass Crew