Costa comes to Dalston
A new Costa cafe is being fitted out in a unit at the entrance of the Kingsland Shopping Centre (where the cheap shoe shop used to be).It’s opening at 6:30am on Tues. 8th Oct.My guess is that this will be the most popular and diverse cafe in Hackney.”
diverse? what? anyway, i noticed it too and i thought so now it really begins…
@janice I mean the customers will be diverse. Chains tend to appeal to a broad spectrum of the community – in terms of age social class ethnicity disability etc (hence their success) – as opposed to many independents that can often be niche and cliquey.”
Ah, Yes, benjamin – you’re probably right. These chains do tend to draw people from everywhere. That in itself can’t be a bad thing. I’ve been thinking for some time that Dalston has one of the least franchise-affected high street I’ve seen in London. Could this be the beginning of Franchise Strip and how quickly will it happen? It will be interesting. Thoughts?”
My initial thought it that I cant really think of anywhere in inner east London that is infested with chains. They tend to prefer the suburbs and the malls. Nandos and McDonalds have operated in Dalston for years without a flood of other franchises following them. By the way I agree that Costa will have a far wider appeal than coffee houses that stock designer coffee brands.
…and the ever-predictable opposition and their pseudo-logic;\...Dalston doesn’t really need a Costa given there are about a 100 places where you can already buy excellent coffee. That’ll be why not everyone seems that happy about the store that’s opened at Kingsland Shopping Centre today.“http://dalstonist.co.uk/not-everyones-happy-about-costa-coffee-opening-in-dalston-today/They even include a list of independent alternatives that may as well be entitled ‘Where to avoid minority groups and over-40s in Hackney’.”
I live months of every year in Toronto. That city successfully avoided the Starbucks invasion for years. Then when the first one was slated to open, all of the indies got scared and the naysayers protested (as benjamin wrote). What happened was unexpected. Every coffee shop that was close to a Starbucks prospered. Whether it was deliberate shunnning by the purists or that the Starbucks brought more traffic into the area (and probably couldn’t wait in the inevitable queue) I’m not sure but it’s a fact. Starbucks in the area meant even more indies started to pop up and successfully too. So don’t despair. Then..GavinRedknap is right – and as I said earlier – the franchises are coming and I doubt anyone will be able or even want to stop them. We’ll just have to wait and see. Will I go to Costa? Probably not. They don’t have anything that I really want to buy. I like my “designer coffee” because it tastes superior (actually worth drinking) and if I want an expensive snack I can get those anywhere too or pop in to Greggs. (*If* I wanted to!)”
Hi Benjamin There was always going to be mixed views about Costa’s arrival in Dalston. Chain retailers tend to divide opinion! It’s true to say that, while they inspire animosity among some sections of the community, they are obviously hugely popular with others, hence their enduring appeal. You’re right to point out that the tone of our article was fairly predictable. While it was quite tongue-in-cheek, we do try to champion independent businesses and celebrating the arrival of Costa wouldn’t sit well with that agenda… I would argue that the list of alternative places we suggested actually serves a pretty diverse clientele. Cafe Route, Evin Cafe and Ivy’s Mess Hall all cater to a slightly different crowd. As for ‘avoiding minority groups and over-40s’, I wouldn’t agree as far as minority groups are concerned. Over 40s, perhaps, but understandable given that really isn’t our audience. You seem to be suggesting that Costa will cater to parts of the Dalston community that have been neglected by the independents. I’d ask why Costa has taken until now to come here? It seems to me they are seeking to capitalise on the area’s new-found wealth – created largely by independents. It’s an interesting debate and always good to hear differing views. MarkEditor, Dalstonist
@dalstonist\I would argue that the list of alternative places we suggested actually serves a pretty diverse clientele. Cafe Route Evin Cafe and Ivy’s Mess Hall all cater to a slightly different crowd.” Yes “slightly”.“It seems to me [Costa] are seeking to capitalise on the area’s new-found wealth – created largely by independents.”You could say that of any business including independents. The “new-found wealth” in Hackney was “created” because it moved here because of London’s housing shortage.If people are sincere in their celebration of Hackney’s diverse population then surely we should celebrate businesses whose customer base reflect that diversity?”
Well, I would argue that Costa no more reflects the diversity of Hackney than any of the other places we mentioned. I doubt there is a huge amount of crossover between the customers of Costa and the nearby independents but that’s not to say Costa is any more diverse than any others. Sure, any business arriving in the area is capitalising on the wealth that has arrived here in recent years. I made the point about Costa because you seemed to be suggesting that it will cater to people who have lived here for years. If so, why wait until now? Apologies if I misunderstood the point you were making. Our readership is far more likely to visit an independent coffee shop than Costa and as a publication we try to celebrate independent businesses. While you could argue that Costa’s arrival is a positive development, it’s not for us to make that case!
@dalstonist I suggest that Costa’s customer base will reflect the diversity of Hackney far more than most independents. (See Dalston’s Ward Profile here).I can only assume that Costa didn’t move here earlier because the socio-economic demographic here used to be too poor. If the arrival of more affluent people in the area has facilitated the opening of a cafe that caters to a broad spectrum then that’s a good thing.You may make an editorial decision not to make the case for a Costa (or similar) based on your readership but I can’t see the point in pro-actively knocking it.If you don’t think there’ll be much crossover between those who frequent independent cafes and the new Costa why go to the trouble of encouraging your readership to go elsewhere?Besides your argument against it was based on the number of pre-existing cafes;“...Dalston doesn’t really need a Costa given there are about a 100 places where you can already buy excellent coffee. That’ll be why not everyone seems that happy about the store that’s opened at Kingsland Shopping Centre..”Will you soon be arguing that “Dalston doesn’t really need another new independent given there are about 100 places where you can already buy excellent coffee”? “
Im just happy to be able to buy a coffee in a shop that doesnt insist on pricing to one decimal place…..
How many of the independents allow you to just pay the price stated, ahead of getting your drink, and then leave whenever you want to, without having to get someone’s attention, wait for the bill and then tip? A place that does might just appeal to certain demographics of the local community I reckon. And as Gavin, said, we’ve had McDonalds, KFC and Nandos there for years without it leading to the ruination of the high street or squeezing the independents out, and that’s hardly about to change, given the influx of young professional and artistic people into the area over the last 5-10 years.