Our last High Street Update was a pretty comprehensive affair and it seems that not much has happened since then. Or rather, a fair bit has happened but mostly in the form of things that were going to open now actually being open.
What you talkin bout Willis? Well, Ruben’s Bakehouse is now open at 52 Heath Road selling baked-on-the-premises ‘artisan bread’ and even offering deliveries too. In fact it’s an ‘artisan bakery lab’ not just a bread shop. Initial reviews seem good and Ruben is tweeting away on Twitter mentioning things like ‘sourdough’, so it could be worth your while checking it out. He’s been selling bread in places like Kew market and Ham but his Twickenham shop is a new venture. At between about £2.80 and £3.50 for a loaf it’s not cheap but we can confirm that it is darn good bread. Best of luck, dude.
Also now open since our last update is the Blah Blah Blah vegetarian and vegan restaurant also on Heath Road, near the ‘Red Lion’ Tesco Express (more on that company later). The menu is small but has a few interesting things on it. It’s the fifth restaurant on that site in the last few years so let’s hope it sticks around.
And another one from our last update, Ales & Tails bar on York Street is no longer a ‘pop up’ bar, it’s now a fully grown-up bar. It’s had its refurb and is open for business selling a range of ‘craft beers’ and cocktails and has got a good menu going on too. It’s been busy putting itself about a bit on the marketing front and feedback so far has been positive.
Burger That! We see that what was O’Zon on London Road is to become, wait for it, a Burger King! KFC, Wimpy and now Burger King in Twickenham. What chance of the return of McDonalds to the town some point? Don’t rule it out. In fact the Burger King’s franchise owners are seeking a late opening licence for food, though not booze. (see the comments section below).
Still on London Road, COOK is now open in the place that was Indus restaurant. It sells ‘remarkable food for your freezer’ and we feel we’re on safe ground in saying that Kerry Katona will not be promoting this particular frozen food outlet any time soon. So it won’t be long before you can stuff yourself full of a Whopper with cheese to keep the wolf from the door as you choose your posh ready meal for your little supper party later on. We’d love to see a Venn diagram for shopping on that stretch of road.
Round the corner Harris and Hoole (or rather Harris+Hoole) is now open on King Street. Who, what and why? It’s the latest addition to Twickenham’s café culture bringing an ‘artisan approach’ to coffee making right to the heart of our fair town. In fact it’s going to bring a ‘whole new coffee experience to the high street’. There’s bold for you! Apparently you need to wear a virtual reality suit and absorb the coffee through your skin, whilst listening to Mongolian nose flute players. On stilts. So who are these H+H people anyway? Well, it’s a new venture brought to you by the folks who run the small chain of Taylor St Baristas coffee shops in London and Brighton… and retail giant Tesco. [UPDATE: We heard on Twitter that H+H will also be moving in to the former Superdrug store in St Margarets too, right next to the Tesco in fact, BUT H&H have told us that’s not true]. Oh, and the H+H name? Harris & Hoole are two gentlemen who feature in Samuel Pepys’ diary on his visit to a coffee shop. Whether they liked ‘artisan’ coffee or just good, normal coffee is not recorded. But who cares, wasn’t everything ‘artisan’ back in the 17th century including the bread, the beer and even the websites?
And lastly, we hear a rumbling that The Crown pub on Richmond Road could become a Sainsburys. It’s been shut for a while and its ‘refurb’ seems to have become a ‘no-furb’, so perhaps a change of plan is in the offing. But then again, don’t people always think that every empty pub is going to become a Tesco or a Sainsburys? More news when we get it.
But that’s it for now folks, stay tuned for more rock & roll.
UPDATE: So it seems our source was right all along. Several months ago we received an email saying that Sainsbury’s would be moving into the refurbished building on Twickenham Green (former Blays motorbike shop, then an unfrequented furniture store). The idea was rubbished on Twitter at the time but now twickerati reader Charles has tipped us off that the plans are in for a shiny Sainsbury’s sign. Here’s a link to the Council planning pages.