High Street Update

Hey. Why so sad? Presumably you’re looking for the previous, very long running High Street Update and can’t find it? Worry not, Twickenham. Dry your eyes and look at the categories index on the right. You’ll be able to find previous versions there by clicking on “On the High Street”. Right then. Jog on. Where were we? Ah yes, it’s over a month since we last gave a round up of new shops and businesses on the High Street. The very shame of it. But we’ll press on regardless with an update here.

The Rugby Inn

In the land of Pubbington-Upon-Booze, what was The Grand Union on London Road is being converted into The Rugby Inn. Surely some mistake here. This is suburban London not some small midlands town. Oh, yes. We get it now. Rugby. The sport! Because of course there really is nothing to Twickenham apart from rugby is there? It’s not open yet and it’s fresh layer of paint is not looking as sharp as it might on our dark autumn photo so we’ll have to assume it’ll be nicer inside. We’re not sure if the Grand Union chain have sold the pub or if it’s just a rebrand. Perhaps some of the late night problems experienced by the GU had something to do with it. Here’s hoping for a better pub this time around.

Meanwhile The Fox continues with its refurbishment work which will enclose some of the outside space on the left of the pub, build a better function room and generally do it up. And staying in Church Street, we find that Toko has been replaced by Complement “perfect accessories”. It sells… how to put it… a range of accessories: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, cuff-links, etc. A little bit like Toko in fact.

Norma’s Diner is now long gone but that particular building’s next incarnation is set to be The Gurkha’s Inn, a “Nepalese kitchen”. It makes a change from the usual and will bring a touch of the Himalayas to Twickenham’s York Street. Probably.

Ragam 2 on Cross Deep is now open for business in a re-vamped version of what was Pallavi. It appears to be owned by the same group and is still doing the South Indian thing. And what was Naz Cuisine on Church Street and then Laagan is now Naz Balti. Perhaps that reflects the fact that no one ever quite knew how to spell Laagan… or Lagaan or Langaan when searching online.

Meanwhile, just when you thought it was impossible to find space for another cafe in Twickenham, one opens up. This time it’s Cafe Taste. Who? Where? Why? We can’t answer all of those, especially the ‘why’, but we can say that it’s at Twickenham station and seemed to appear from nowhere one October morning. With a Puccino’s already on the station itself and the newspaper and snacks kiosk outside, Cafe Taste is opening in the face of some very hyperlocal competition. And of course, given the plans to develop the station its presence, in its current location at least, will have to be considered as ‘semi-permanent’.

Up by Twickenham Green, a new glassworking studio and gallery opens this weekend, starting with a private view on Friday 11th. Called LoversLights it will feature “artistic delights” from a range of designers and artists. We’re talking jewellery, ceramics, collage, glassware and of course lights created by its founder Janis Haves. Worth a look. It’s at 64 The Green (near Ask Pizza).


More shoes, vicar? Marc Jason’s Shoeworld will be opening on Heath Road in the premises previously occupied by the PropertyLink estate agents (opposite Blockbuster). It’s the lastest addition to a chain of shops operating in the south east and will sell a range of discounted shoes including brand names like Nike and Puma. Although Johnson’s Shoes is just down the road it looks as if Shoeworld will be offering some tough competition, on price at least.

Meanwhile, businesses mentioned on previous updates are getting some feedback. The new Post Office seems to be going down well with the locals. The new look Sussex Arms (Staines Road) has been well reviewed, as has Italian bistro Casa Mia (Whitton Road). The florist Chez Chevallier (Heath Road) is now open for business and as part of the Richmond Literature Festival there’s going to be a pop-up “literary salon” also on Heath Road near the Tesco. And can we get though this update without mentioning Karahi Spices? It would seem not.

If you want to see the previous High Street Update and are stubbornly refusing to use the category index then it’s here.


Filed under High Street Updates

5 responses to “High Street Update

  1. Horace Walpole

    Afficionados of Indian vegetarian food are still mourning the loss of Sagar in York Street. However, I can report that Karahi Spices opposite Tesco seems to be doing fine. The food is Punjabi (as opposed to Keralan) and well-priced. A different style from Sagar, of course (it is 1000 miles away). Less coconut and curry leaves, more northern spices and vegetables. The waitresses are charming (unlike the rather distant men at Sagar). The Indian (or should that be Pakistani?) sweets for sale at the counter are delicious, particularly the nutty ones. Be careful of the karela (“bitter gourd”) as recommended to us – it does tend to open things up the next day.

    Whether or not Karahi will survive at this *rse end of Heath Road will depend on how much custom it gets. It’s up to you, dear reader. Meanwhile, South Indian food fans can still get some of their old Sagar favourites at Ragam 2 (ex. Pallavi), though I think the size of the menu has been reduced somewhat after their “rationalisation”.

  2. Con

    The famous Fox Pub is opening on 25th Nov for the xmas lights switch on church street and then will close again to finish off the refurbishment as some of the parts are coming from Italy.

  3. George

    I have only been in the GU twice and it was, frankly, a bit crap. Maybe I’m just getting old. It will be good to see a refurbished Fox. The last makeover there had some good points but the colour scheme left it a bit soulless, which is a shame for a pub with real character.

  4. botogol

    I went to Casa Mia and it wasn’t a great experience. Perhaps it was teething troubes, some friends of mine have been twice, so they must have had better experience.
    BUT I notice that on the casa mia website home page the photographs are of some other restaurant, and of somebody else’s food (casa mis doesn’t, for instance, serve pizza which is one of the pictures).
    That sort of of trickery doesn’t get them off on the right foot.

  5. My friend in the know says that the Rugby Inn is still owned by the GU group and that they will only open on match days. If this is true, then I think the licensing committee at El Brute should do something about it. We don’t want our prime retail space only breathing into life when a game is on

    (My friend and I both used to DJ there in the good ole’ days, if there were any? – Needless to say we stopped working there a while ago)