Well, well, well. It’s been a while since our last High Street Update hasn’t it? But that doesn’t mean it’s been all quiet on the Twickenham front. Far from it, as it happens. Here’s the skinny.
On London Road we’ve finally seen the back of that terrible pink Yummies sign. The short-lived but long-closed experiment in frozen yoghurt has been replaced by Ke Sushi, purveyors of, you’ve guessed it, sushi, to the twickerati – that’s you lot, btw. Although not exactly on Twickenham’s ‘restaurant mile’ – Richmond Road, York Street, Heath Road (and Church Street) – it might actually do quite well especially if it can drum up a decent lunchtime trade. Next door, in what used to be Max Sports, a dry cleaning service has opened going by the name of Bonjour Dry Cleaners. With several other dry cleaners already in town, will Bonjour be a case of “Say hello, wave goodbye”, or could it be more a matter of “Suits you, sir”?
At the junction of London Road and Whitton Road, what was previously the Kaka takeaway, aka AKA’s, has now become Margherita Pizza. We assume other varieties of pizza are available. Our suggestion for a late night speciality would be a doner kebab pizza with gravy… topped with guinea fowl cooked three ways and served with beetroot paint and a basil gel. Look out for that in the upcoming series of Masterchef. We reckon old Greg Wallace would bloody love tucking into that little lot. We’re not so sure if the glum faced one would be quite so keen though.
Sticking with food, Blah Blah Blah is still closed but it’s now got a sign up saying that the lease is for sale. After stints as Bibi, Heavenly Dish, at least two versions of Karahi Spices and most recently Blah Blah Blah itself, some might be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t the best spot to run a restaurant. So, expect a new eatery to open there very soon.
Heading back down Heath Road towards the town centre, Kerala Melon has opened selling south Indian cuisine. Initial reports are that it’s pretty good so that might be worth a try. On the other side of the town centre, what was Rubiks Mediterranean cuisine on Richmond Road is looking pretty closed at the moment but with a sign up suggesting it is being re-incarnated as The Olive Tree.
Nearby, Stokes & Moncreiff (in what used to be The Royal Oak) is now up and running and doing the whole pub / bar/ restaurant thing. Word is that it’s part owned – or at least supported in some way – by former England rugby legend Simon Shaw. Given the sheer size of the bloke perhaps it’s fair to assume the portions will be pretty generous. Elsewhere, The Prince Blucher and The Eel Pie have both re-opened after major refurbs, with both boozers introducing greater focus on the food front – although in the case of the Eel Pie it’s basically gone from focusing on crisps and peanuts previously to actually doing proper food. Both places look good. On Albion Road, The Kings Arms has closed. It’s got a very temporary looking banner up saying ‘corner shop’ so perhaps we can expect flats there soon.
Down on Church Street the mixed fortunes of Twickenham’s original high street continue. Mercado has closed down and jewellery and accessories shop Complement (behind Pincho) is set to follow shortly. Escape clothing also shut its doors a while back and we hear the Monica Boxley store will close too. It’s tough out there for the small businesses so shop local if you can.
On the positive side, if it’s women’s fashions that you’re after then you could always try BibaStar, recently opened at 19 Heath Road, near Lloyds bank. We’re going out on a limb here to say that it actually looks like a proper ’boutique’ kind of thing rather than just a ‘women’s clothes shop’. And perhaps that’s because it’s an outlet for Scarlett Black, the clothing range from fashion designer Eliza Scarlett. Oh, and she also happens to be the partner of England and Harlequins rugby star, Mike Brown.
What with Simon Shaw and Mike Brown getting namechecked in the same High Street update you’d be forgiven for thinking that Twickenham had some kind of connection with the sport of rugby.
Elsewhere there are painters working behind the scenes at the premises that previously housed Pizza Rizzo on York Street and the Paws charity shop on Heath Road. And a Twitter tip off (a Twip off?) alerted us to the prospect of a Boots Opticians moving into the old Card Factory shop on King Street. Is the suspense getting to you yet? We’ll let you have more on these developments as soon as we have it – or rather, when we can be bothered.
And we’ll sign off by saying that in case you were getting worried, yes Haart estate agent is now fully open on York Street thereby solving the problem of the dearth of such businesses in the town.
That’s it… for now. Good luck to all new businesses. Let us know how you get on with them.