In January we did something of a bumper High Street Update as it had been many months since our last shops-related confession. But that was January and this is now and there’s more to tell. Things have happened. In telling you this tale we’re going to go with the theme of brevity and we hope you’re going to buy into it because we really need you with us on this journey. Let us begin…
Marc Jason’s Shoeworld, purveyors of cheap footwear to the TWs is closing down. To be fair, with its endless sales and discount banners it has always looked as if it’s been on the brink of closing but the words ‘closing down’ in the window do seem to be a big, big clue as to its current state. We don’t know if Marc Jason has other ‘worlds’ beyond Shoeworld but it does seem to be the end of the line for this particular Heath Road outlet. The shop has lasted longer than you might think although we do say this without any insights as to how your brain actually works. So, how long do you think it’s been open? Two years? Three? And the answer is…. almost four and a half years. Plenty of other places have come and gone in that time.
One such example of the ‘short-lived retail experience’ is Sanbei, also on Heath Road, which will soon be selling phone accessories in the great retail mall in the sky, or at least in some other suburban town. The shop’s sign said ‘Sanbei. Since 2002’ but in Twickenham it only managed a year. Perhaps it was really just a ‘pop-up shop’, the retail experience de nos jours?
On the plus side, an ‘Asian grocer’ has opened on York Street. Food Sanctuary sells a range of Asian foodstuffs, spices, sauces and drinks. Think noodles, soy sauce, produce with plenty of chilli or coconut and you’re along the right lines. It sells online too. It’s in the shop formerly occupied by York Street Galleries, that strange ‘antique shop’ that looked more like a Cold War dead drop point for George Smiley than an actual retail premises. But it can’t have been that because we all know that La Serenata restaurant on London Road holds the crown for Twickenham’s most mysterious establishment. Real facts, folks, real facts.
A branch of the Cavan Bakery is set to open in Twickenham. It’s going to be in the long-empty unit on King Street where Wishbone butchers used to be. The chain already has shops in Hampton, Hampton Hill and Teddington and so a Twickenham branch seems like a logical extension. They always seem to get positive reviews online so will be worth a look.
Talking of food, which we were, Little Mumbai is now open on Heath Road in what was Royal Spice and, before that, Amins. And talking of nails, which we definitely weren’t, Nail Plaza is about to open on King Street in the small unit that had been empty for years after having spells as a charity shop and, very briefly, a deli.
Back on Heath Road, High Road Auctions is closed. It’s for refurbishment (according to the sign) but comments below and from other sources suggest it’s permanent. It always looked busy and the cafe was popular but, if it is permanent then it won’t have lasted long. So what next for this large space? How about bike shop & cafe? We reckon that could work. Moores, Cycle Republic, Giant it’s over to one of you guys. And, as we reported a few weeks back, Greggs Bakery (the actual bakery on Gould Road, not the shop on King Street) is to close with the loss of up to 206 local jobs.
On Cross Deep we have recently spotted The North Clinic next to the True beauty salon. Its plain white decor doesn’t give much away but Google seems to think it’s going to be an osteopathy clinic and who are we to argue with Google? It could fill the ‘sort your aching body out’ gap in the market created by the disappearance of physiotherapists Stoke Health from London Road a couple of months ago.
And finally, do you know about CeX? It’s a kind of second hand goods chain specialising in electronic things, computing and video games. Someone asked us whether a branch could do well in Twickenham. We said we didn’t know but that you might. So do ya? Should they feel lucky?
That’s all for now, stay tuned for more breaking news as and when it happens, if and when we can be bothered.