High street evolution: signposts

We don’t know when a return to normality for the economy will appear, but like the rest of you, there’s one key indicator we’re in the habit of checking: the high street.

Green shoots and all that, there’s a good deal of movement to report in the last few weeks… not least the re-opening of the pubs and cinemas. The replacement for Monkey Nuts appeared, Allora Hall, offering gin and casual space for your laptop, whereas the people behind Chicken Shop are trying something new at 46 The Broadway: Soho Studio, a members’ space for more hot desks and cold gin (we think). Meanwhile, it’s a sad farewell to Irvin’s restaurant, but welcome to Kalimera; and a few takeaways too: vegan Ready Burger, Roast and Greens, an Algerian rotisserie, Wenzel’s the Bakers, Snog Frozen Yogurt at 62 Crouch End Hill, and Yoobi Brazilian Sushi at 86 Park Road (online only we’re told).

Add them to the lockdown list: Lo-Fi coffee, Sourdough Sophia, Fridge of Plenty urban farm shop, Butternut Bikes, Twelve Ounce Bottleshop, and Organic & Organic café.

Image: Allora Hall

Rumours of other co-work spaces abound, and we can’t help but notice a distinct Covid signature: the marked expansion of takeaways and suburban casual workspaces. At least, you may say, Crouch End is evolving and seeking new opportunities. We wish the entrepreneurs well. Incidentally, the ex-Santander is let, which should improve the appearance of The Broadway.

You may say we have too many cafes and takeaways. You’d be right, we also have too many coffee shops and charity shops, or perhaps it’s just the right number. The trouble is, we think convenience shopping has reached its limits and comparison shopping is unlikely to make a comeback anytime soon (treasure what we have). Banks are going (Nationwide, Santander) with surely more to follow. Even nail bars are losing their lustre, so what else? Much flexibility and diversity is required, and we really need to do something about the traffic.

Lastly, the Town Hall developers are installing a new marketing suite into 26 Broadway (the ex-Pera, ex-Middeys unit, recently acquired by HTH), which may also brighten things up. Be awhile before the hoardings come down I’m afraid – but if you get the opportunity, check out the repatinated and cleaned up bronzework on the Town Hall.


  1. Adrian Essex

    Convenience shopping was probably on the wane anyway but during the lockdown there are many new customers for delivery services. And this seems to be another bandwagon that startups are jumping on. Two I have noticed recently are Getir and Gorillas which as far as I can tell tell have gone from nothing to quite popular very quickly.

  2. Adrian Essex

    I’m sitting in Beam at the moment and I think the levels of traffic are perfectly adequate. There is a constant queue going very slowly past the open doors. So no need try to increase the levels.
    Perhaps to satisfy the traders and those who campaign so vociferously against low traffic neighbourhoods it might be possible find somewhere for a few more parking places.
    The recently installed regime in Haringey Council are making the usual brave noises about out embracing trees and bicycles and pedestrians but once again it will probably come to nothing so the Motorists will remain satisfied.


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