A few months ago, very few -I posted about my shock in realising that most of the Soho that I had always loved had turned into streets full of chain cafes and bars. I didn’t mention the discount (TK Trash etc.) and junk shops, though I could have. The most awful thing was realising that less than 5 months later one of the few surviving places I had photographed – Jimmy’s – has also closed now.
The Independent has an article about it:
The landlords are agog at the prices that can be charged in London becuase London has a never ending supply of tourists who have no idea the difference between a chain and a proper shop. Nor would I, if I didn’t live here.
Here’s my short list of my favourite independent businesses in London, that I use often, in no special order:
- Camden Lock Books http://camdenlockbooks.com/ used to be on the lock but now in Old St Station.
- Haggerston Tea Rooms Haggerston Rd
- Broadway Books broadway market
- Morganics Organics shop and cafe
- the TFS Turkish Food Store in Dalston a supermarket
- Algerian Coffee Stores in Soho
- FOPP (Ok it is a chain but a very small one!)
- just about every cafe and restaurant on the Kingsland road
- Lorelei in Soho, more for coffee as I don’t eat pizza
- the Prince Charles Cinema
- the Rio Cinema
- Bradley’s North Soho
- West End Camera
- Anderson’s Bakery Hoxton
but there are a few chains I do like, such as Jessops – reliable and good service, though I wish they’d up their analogue division at least int he New Oxford St store; Maplin also. I can’t fault them. On the other hand they are specialists in what they do.