How to improve commercial vibrancy on Lower Clapton Rd

A space to discuss how Lower Clapton Rd’s commerce can be improved.


  1. @euan @ewebber @gavinredknap This discussion started on a different thread, but since the discussion was broadening and going slightly off topic, I’ve started a new topic.Earlier comments can be seen here; #post-2756

  2. @euan Professional jargon aside, the reasons why LCR is a commercially less vibrant than some others is multiple and complex but include the “Murder Mile” tag (one recent post on this forum stated that the loan for her coffee-shop was only granted because it was opposite the police station). Your argument would make more sense were we talking about, say, Islington Upper St, where the number of chains are increasing and one might argue that they are “forcing out” small independents. But to make the argument for more small shops in an area dominated by small empty shops is perverse. You say that LCR “on the whole is made up of large plots of land that take up significant street frontage”. I don’t agree. We are talking about commerce here. On the whole it is dominated by small (often empty) shops. Stretches of commercial areas are separated by residential parts but since no-one is talking about replacing these with shops (small or large) I can’t see the relevance. Also, there are far more large shops on Kingsland than on LCR, so I can’t see your point here.

  3. @ewebber @euan @gavinredknapThe good news is that given the huge influx of more affluent people in recent years, I think the future of LCR is probably going to be one of huge change and improvement. But since this seems to be very slow in coming perhaps we could first examine why;I suggest that the main reasons are the \Murder Mile” tag has scared off both independent entrepreneurs and banks offering loans. Also the road looks bloody scruffy – although there has been some improvement in recent years.Perhaps the first problem could be tackled by promoting LCR to businesses (small and large) by highlighting some little-known facts;LCR and environs have the same socio-economic demographic as Stoke Newington Church Street’s and it’s crime rate has tumbled in recent years. If business start-ups could go to banks armed with facts to demolish their prejudices they might be more inclined to lend.I would also like to see the Council spend some money on restoration of a few key buildings at either end of the road; the badly altered Victorian terrace opposite the Pond (housing the newsagents to the corner chemist) at one end and the sweeping cornered terrace where Urswick meets LCR at the other end. Tower Hamlets are spending loads on restoration of some of their better period terraces which goes someway to undoing their neglect of the last few decades. If Hackney planning office is interested in conservation I think it should adopt this approach rather than stifling modern architecture as it does now.”

  4. @benjamin Personally, I think LCR has great potential, and I believe that potential will be realised. The recession has slowed down that process, but not stopped it. I wouldn’t have put my financial neck on the line purchasing the building on the corner with Clapton Square if I didn’t believe this. Just as a matter of clarification by the way – the building’s location opposite the police station helped with pursuading the lender, but wasn’t pivotal. Nonetheless, the street’s ‘Murder Mile’ tag is, as you suggest, unhelpful – to put it mildly. The only way to debunk these false impressions is for people from outside the area to come and see LCR (and the streets just off it) for themselves. I’d like to think that the cafe I will open, and the shop or gallery I’ll rent just beside it, will join establishments such as Pages, Parioli, Umit and Biddles Bros, contributing to a critical mass of appealing independent businesses in the same way as is happening on Chatsworth Road.Regarding Tower Hamlets, I think I know which period terrace you mean – is it the one opposite Whitechapel art Gallery? I didn’t realise it was the council that restored this terrace but if it was, I have a feeling it was using money intended to spruce up the whole road on account of it being part of the Olympic marathon route (no longer the case, sadly). I doubt any council will now have any money to spend on such things, much though I wish it weren’t so. I’m not sure I agree that Hackney Council stifles modern architecture, as you say. By and large, good contemporary architecture is encouraged, even if the end result is a bit hit-and-miss (as in most places, to be fair).

  5. Anyone know if anything’s going to happen to the Lord Cecil? Would be good to see that sorted out (as long as it wasnt to make another Paddy Power).

  6. @nightboat\I’d like to think that the cafe I will open and the shop or gallery I’ll rent just beside it will join establishments such as Pages Parioli Umit and Biddles Bros contributing to a critical mass of appealing independent businesses in the same way as is happening on Chatsworth Road.”I completely agree with this. Anecdotally speaking several people I know in the immediate Clapton Square/LCR area tend to go elsewhere for a decent cafe bar restaurant or whatever eg Stoke Newington Church Street Broadway Market etc as there’s obviously not much choice round here at the minute. But I think it will take just a few more more appealing businesses to change that thinking around and LCR may well end up being an area that people will travel to rather than just serving the needs of people in the immediate vicinity.As you say there needs to be a critical mass of good businesses that really make people banks and businesses etc sit up and take notice that significant change is really happening in the area – and we should hopefully see a snowballing effect after that. I also agree with @benjamin in that there are still some prejudices about the area that still need to be overcome. I was wondering if there’s been talk of an LCR traders and residents association like the Chatsworth Road one? Could an initiative like that help coordinate efforts to publicise the area more positively?”

  7. @GavinRedknap I’d love the Lord Cecil to open as a decent pub – it’s such a wonderful building – but can’t find much sign of what’s going on with it. Read on a blog site that people were worried developers were planning to demolish it a couple of years ago, but presumably it’s had a stay of execution. I wonder if it was considered at some stage by the same developers who are opening up the Clapton Hart?

  8. The reason the area has improved in recent years is largely down to the campaigning of local groups. The pond was in a sorry state a few years ago, but the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group formed to find the money and support to do it up, the community were also influential in closing down Chimes, Charlies Angels and the Cricketers, all of which were major issues for LCR. We have to remember that it’s down to local campaigning that we have what we have now, I have to commend the work that has been done as I have benefitted from it. These are the same people that are campaigning against some of the current applications. I’d be very surprised if the council found money to do any restoration, particularly in the current climate.Lord Cecil as far as I know is going to be converted into flats and already has new builds behind it.

  9. @ewebber I’m sure that locals campaigning (both in groups and as individuals) have often had some positive effect on the area. But I’m not sure how you can say that \These are the same people that are campaigning against some of the current applications”.It’s probably true that some of the same people are campaigning in favour of some of the current applications. Me for example.@nightboat Yes the terrace opposite Whitchapel Gallery is part of their restoration program but it’s not just the Whitechapel stretch. They’ve also just finished a short terrace on Bethnal Green Rd at the top of Brick Lane. But you and @ewebber are probably correct instating that council funding right now would be unlikely.I like your LCR traders and residents association idea.When it comes to encouraging quality modern architecture however I have to disagree. I think Hackney is obsessed with brick (or faux-brick cladding) and even low-grade pastiche. Sorry to go on about it but the Victorian pastiche that has just been added to the side of the 1930s building by the Pond is a good example of their poor planning office judgement. I think the net effect of Hackney planning office’s approach is a scarcity of quality modern buildings on the one hand and very poor conservation (because of bad enforcement) on the other.”

  10. The improvements to paving and some junction layout has been a welcome improvement recently. I wrote to TfL yesterday requesting an update on the LCR/Downs Rd works and will keep you informed when I get a response.

  11. @benjamin I don’t know the Victorian pastiche on the side of the 1930s building that you refer to, but more broadly speaking I think brick is an understandable material for planners to request – it is a vernacular material, after all. If anything, I think that buildings where brick hasn’t been used can be more problematic: render that ages badly, timber cladding that ages even more badly… That building on LCR with the green and blue panels on the front elevation and the Tesco on the ground floor – I wonder how that’ll age. Of course, so much of this is down to personal taste – it’s very rare that a new building doesn’t divide opinion right down the middle, although I think it’s fair to suggest that the best of the borough’s contemporary architecture is probably in its southern half rather around in Clapton, alas. Fortunately, Clapton has a good stock of period properties; if only that fact were better known.

  12. *rather than around in ClaptonProofreading fail.

  13. @nightboat Well, brick is one part of our historic vernacular yes, but to use that as justification to use it almost universally today would be to condemn us to literally an eternity of anachronistic brick. To build a quality modern building with a palette defined by our past is a contradiction in approaches (and makes no economic sense). I appreciate that the subjective nature of taste leaves for a huge variety in architecture but to attach Victorian pastiche to the side of a 1930s building isn’t a matter of taste but chronological idiocy. Regarding the Tesco building, as with all things new, only time will tell how it ages. But, whilst I’m not a particular fan of the building myself, in seems to have weathered the first decade(?) pretty well, and the panelling could be changed easily if not. I really don’t understand the view that says that the primary aesthetic function of a modern building is to reference the past in some way.

  14. @nightboat The Tesco building was finished in 2006 or 7, I think. I do generally agree with you. I’m no fan of pastiches either, and yes – it would be a dull city if brick were the only material the eye could see. I just wish the quality of the alternatives weren’t so often so poor. My bete noire is untreated red cedar timber, the natural weathering of which architects like to sell as an asset; but unlike corten steel, the appearance of which genuinely is enhanced with age (see Stoke Newington School on Clissold Road), timber-clad buildings too often look old and decrepit well before their time (unless the timber is properly pre-treated – see Morningside Primary School’s extension on Chatham Place).It’s amazing the difference materials can make. 142 Lea Bridge Road looked like a good, crisp contemporary design when it was approved, and yet the end result disappoints. Value engineering and cheap materials have taken their toll. Anyway, looks like I’ve digressed somewhat from the thread title! Sorry…

  15. Sorry – that was @benjamin (obviously). What is happening to me today! Friday…

  16. @nightboat I largely agree with you about timber, although I think it can be used well in some cases (I like the side of Dalston Square’s Phase2 that’s just emerging from beneath the scaffolding, which I think is far more successful than the brick with woodgrain print on plastic panels that they used on Phase1). I particularly don’t like it when it is used without any apparent reason; often a pointless square of panels adjacent to a window.I note that you mention some schools as good examples. I agree again, but have always assumed that these designs were simply rubber-stamped by the council for political reasons as they are all part of the central government school renewal policy.

  17. @benjamin – I made the point about it being the same people, because it’s the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group behind the regeneration of the pond and who had influence in closing some of the aforementioned places. It was also some of them who presented against the millfields rd toilet block at their meeting this week and Ian who is voicing some of his constituencies concerns about the Clapton Hart. I was making key reference to that group of people.

  18. @benjamin @nightboat – I live in what you referred to as \the Tesco building” or Alva/Shire Court as it is really called (we’ve been around longer than that shop has been there). It’s a pretty unique build for the area – It was completed in 2005 with residents moving in on 2006 so already 6 years old. It is a modular built block – built in a factory and brought in on lorries. The only brick it has in on the ground floor. It’s very well built (for a new build) and are pretty solid flats.The way that it’s built means the steel frame is the skeleton and the external walls can be easily replaced”

  19. @ewebber @nightboat I remember watching that going up in just a week or so. I’m surprised the modular construction isn’t more popular; it makes so much sense.

  20. Last year a new hotel was approved on Willow Street – an annexe to the Hoxton Hotel – which was to be modular in construction. No idea whether it’s gone ahead or not.

  21. @benjamin Regarding the schools – there was certainly political pressure on LBH to deal with the planning applications with as little delay as possible; nonetheless a fair amount of work went into dealing with the schools’ designs. Many of the new and refurbed schools were part of the BSF programme. Clapton Girls’ Technology College on Laura Place, Stoke Newington School and Hackney Free and Parochial (near Ocean) are all BSF. (City Academy on Homerton High Street isn’t, though.) But the BSF programme was scrapped by the coalition basically because they thought (with some justification, admittedly) that too much time and money was spent on architects and different design stages!

  22. I’ve lived off Upper Clapton Road since 1997 so know Lower Clapton Road quite well, it has improved a lot over the years, Biddle Brothers, Pages of Hackney, the Italian Deli have all established themselves in the last few years. It has a much better shopping experience than Upper Clapton Road which has been pretty miserable for the whole period I have lived here.The new pub on the site of Chimes/Palace Night Club will improve the area even more. It will dominate the area by the roundabout, may even (if it is successful) encourage others into the area, maybe even improve the Upper Clapton Road area.

  23. @marty21 Yes, I agree the pub could well have a positive effect on both sides of the roundabout, another welcome addition to the places you mentioned, and also the new cafe @nightboat is opening on LCR in the near future. Despite the recession, I’m starting to feel really good about what’s going on the area.By the way, does anyone know what’s happening to the old nightclub next to the new pub?

  24. @jason and the new art gallery The old nightclub is more importantly one of the older cinemas in London – no idea what is going on with it, apparently someone is putting an offer in

  25. @ewebberAh yes, was forgetting the art gallery – will be even better. Been reading up about the Clapton Cinematograph, if it’s not going to be a cinema again, I hope the existing building can be preserved as much as possible.Must say, really cool website you have here, by the way. I’ve learned so much about the area since I started looking on it!

  26. @jason – thanks, glad you like the site, lots of really interesting community conversations going on, I’m learning stuff too.The clapton cinematograph campaign aren’t currently bidding for it, I know they are keen to get inside and have a look around, it would be so sad to see the building go, so many Hackney cinemas have disappeared (see this thread

  27. I agree with @jason about restaurants in the area, I tend to go to Stoke Newington if I want a decent restaurant, Upper Clapton Road is very poor, just haven’t fancied trying anywhere, apart from when I fancy pie and chips or a kebab. There was a Thai restaurant on by the roundabout for a few months, ground floor of the Old Kings Head, which was converted into housing years ago. It lasted a few months, then moved up the the Three Crowns and then disappeared, Bagabon I think it was called. The ground floor commercial unit has been empty ever since (maybe 5 years or so).I’m hoping the Clapton Hart will fill this gap in the market when it eventually opens, and it may encourage others to chance their luck. The ‘murder mile’ stuff does seem to have put off investment in the area.

  28. LCR would definitely benefit from having a traders association, but i think, at the risk of sounding spatially deterministic, the problem is related to its physical fabric. This is quite good from Urswick Road to Goulton Road, then the west side kind of falls apart, with only remnants of the original victorian frontage. Then from Laura Place it goes wrong on both sides until Clapton Pond. Have a look on street view and you’ll see what i mean.

  29. @euan I think the fact that stretches of shops on LCR are broken in two by a stretch of residential obviously isn’t ideal for a commercial high street but both northern and southern commercial areas are large enough to be viable. It’s not as if we’re talking about a few shops here and there in small clusters. I can’t see the relevance that stretches don’t have \the original victorian frontage”. The majority of the commercial buildings surrounding Clapton Pond aren’t the original victorian ones but that doesn’t stop this area being viable as a commercial hub. Did you mean that you didn’t want to sound architecturally/stylistically deterministic?”

  30. CPNAG have just sent out an email with a computer generated image of the proposed development of the disused toilet site. Personally, the more I look at it the more I like it. I think it would elevate the status of the Pond area no-end. CPNAG oppose it however, instead favouring something \sympathetic to the best bits of the architecture around the pond and to the pond itself”. It’s a virtually meaningless sentence I know but reading between the lines I guess they mean they favour Georgian pastiche. Excuse my crappy computer skills but I don’t know how I can get the CGI posted on here. Could someone else who has the CGI – and better skills than me – have a go?”

  31. @Benjamin I know some people are opposed to the development and others for it, all for various reasons. The consultation period has been extended, I will post details when I am at a computer, so everyone still has time to submit their objections or approvals. I know I am keen to have restrictions on use and parking, so I will be making those points

  32. @ewebber It’s just a shame that CPNAG’s \position is that the current design being proposed is totally unacceptable for and does not contribute aesthetically to the area.”. When they go on to say that they favour something “sympathetic to the best bits of the architecture around the pond” I can only assume that CPNAG is rooting for Georgian pastiche which I think would be disasterous.”

  33. @benjamin – I’m not in favour of pastiche, but I think I mentioned that before. I do think it’s important that planning applications go through some sort of process or the developers will end up doing what they want, and the added pressure from CPNAG is helping to do this.

  34. @ewebber You’re not, I know. But CPNAG’s statement seems to leave little room for anything but pastiche. Of course it’s vital that applications go through a process, it’s just a shame for Clapton that CPNAG’s pressure seems to be so reactionary.

  35. @benjamin I will feed back your comments at the next meeting

  36. I share somewhat the concern that the most vocal voices in our community have a bit of a political agenda – the time and effort spent in vain opposing a small Tesco store for seemingly the main reason that it is Tesco being a case in point. Opposition in the case of the Clapton Hart and possibly this development further that concern. There’s always a fine line to tread between encouraging development of an area and discouraging overdevelopment. Perhaps, then, it would be useful to allow an impartial voice to have its say on buildings such as the ones proposed on the pond. Have CABE been asked for their opinion on any of these? I’m no expert but dont they have a free service for that sort of thing?

  37. Discussion regarding the proposal has continued on a new thread for some reason;

  38. Car parking helps with commercial vibrancy.You need to have a situation where people on their way from dropping their children off at school or going here or there, can stop and look in the bookshop or pick up some stuff or drop off the dry cleaning without feeling paranoid about getting a ticket. Look at Chatsworth Road – far more vibrant than LCR. One of the key reasons – up until recently – because you could park there.For a road like LCR which is not near any train or tube stop, has no particular redeeming features, the lack of parking is just another obstacle against which it must struggle.

  39. I just got a reply from TfL regarding the roadworks at Downs Rd/Lower Clapton Rd:\I can confirm that the works are in progress on site however there was a delay due to Thames Water works. These works are now planned to be completed mid April.””

  40. @benjamin thanks for getting the update, can you post it in the crossing thread so everyone following that will also get the update

  41. Well, I guess any shop is better than an empty shop, but I’m sure many won’t be pleased to hear that a \cheque centre” is opening in the old christian bookshop opposite the round chapel.”

  42. Sign of the times. They’re springing up everywhere…

  43. There also seem to be loads of Pawnbrokers appearing as well. One opened at the end of the Narrow-way a few weeks ago, and there are signs in the window of an empty shop further down announcing that another one will be opening shortly. At least there don’t seem to be any more bookies opening at the moment…

  44. The long-empty shop once occupied by FJLord (more recently the Squat shop) is currently undergoing a complete revamp and will be opening as a hairdressers. They seem to have uncovered the remnants of the Victorian shopfront, so I’m guessing that they’ll be getting the PVC doorway replaced with a repro Vic. one. Anyway, should be a big improvement and nice to see an empty shop filled (soon).

  45. Has anyone else noticed that the Somerfield opposite St John’s Church is closing down for good in June? Does anyone know what’s happening to this block? The long sequence of vacant shopfronts suggests imminent redevelopment. The Somerfield is a terrible supermarket and presumably won’t be missed, although I think if the Co-op had refurbished it so that it looks like one of their newer stores, its fortunes would’ve improved.

  46. @nightboat\.. I think if the Co-op had refurbished it so that it looks like one of their newer stores its fortunes would’ve improved.”I wrote to them expressing that view a year or so ago – no reply.No I didn’t realise it was closing. I wonder if that’s their decision or maybe the landowner’s.I think Hackney council designated that stretch an “opportunity site” some years ago (see p16);

  47. p112;\Buildings on Lower Clapton Road at the top of the Narrow Way are the only site to offer potential scope for new built development. The majority of the existing buildings are or poor or indifferent quality and a range of single storey shops represent the underutilisation of this space and present a poor face to St John-at Hackney Church Gardens. Introducing an attractor use/magnet in this location would attract visitors and draw pedestrians up the Narrow Way.”

  48. @kate says that Somersfield will be re-opening as a Sainsburys;

  49. I have to say that the Somerfield was my favourite little super market around – I will miss it! It is always quiet, and the staff call you darling and it reminded me of shopping in Budgens circa early 90s.

  50. I’ve just received an email from Co-op who confirm that they sold the shop to Sainsburys.If a new Sainsburys has the same effect here as the Tesco Express did at the other end of LCR, then it should be good news for at least some of the shops in the vicinity, including @nightboat ‘s soon to open cafe.One thing in the email intrigued me though – he said;\The decision to close this store was taken with the greatest reluctance and with much regret and was due to the continuing poor trading performance of the store and increased competition.”Surely Co-op were intentionally running it down since they bought Somerfield? There was barely any stock on the shelves at times!”

  51. …and Sainsburys have just confirmed that they’re \opening a new store on the site of the Somerfield. This is due to open in the summer we have no exact date at the moment.””

  52. Good news re Co-op / Somerfield – that place is the most depressing store I have ever experienced. Always understaffed and has barely any stock. I hope Sainsburys do a decent job of reviving the store as that end could really do with perking up. It’s a pretty large store so plenty of potential to turn into a popular shop.

  53. @morriap Yes, I reckon it’ll make a big difference in the immediate area – especially if they install a free cashpoint – that stretch needs one. Hopefully, the empty stores either side will quickly find occupants.

  54. @benjamin – A free cash machine would be awesome, fingers crossed. There is an old betting shop next to the current Co-op which shut in 2008 (according to a note in the window) – that strip is crying out for some TLC.

  55. @morriap Good news – Sainsburys have just replied to the querie and confirmed \there will be a free cash line at our store for our shoppers to use.”I think “Cashline” is the name of the ATMs they use;

  56. @morriap @benjamin I agree about the impact of Sainsburys on the area – together with @Nightboat‘s cafe and the new lovely ‘Shop on the Square’, there’s a definite indication that this stretch of LCR is coming on at last. The old bookies next to the supermarket is in a prime position opposite St John’s, I’m sure it’ll be occupied before too long. These kinds of changes really can’t come fast enough!

  57. My only reservation about a Sainsbury’s is that the store interiors in their newest branches are so depressingly utilitarian. It will be better than the Somerfield it replaces, but only just.

  58. @nightboat I guess you could call most modern supermarkets utilitarian to some degree. I just think it would just be nice to have a local supermarket that’s clean, tidy and well-stocked – not grubby, run-down and half-empty like Somerfield was! Have you got an opening date in mind yet for your cafe, by the way?

  59. It’s looking like the end of this month for a soft opening, and then the ‘official’ opening after the end of the Olympics.

  60. I heard a few weeks back that the old bookies next to Somerfield was also going to be part of the Sainsbury’s development. This would all make sense of course. Also, some speculation that here would be a bakery of some sort. I guess anything is an improvement on the Somerfield eye soar – though I would have much preferred something like a Fresh & Wild……

  61. Fresh and Wild in Clapton? What would that do for the egdy street cred? Anyways, a lot of the locals cant afford Fresh and Wild prices, or cant until they sell up to an incoming middle class family and do the inevitable move out to some horrid place in zone 4.

  62. Indeed. Clapton might be gradually gentrifying but we’re certainly not in Fresh and Wild territory yet. I’d be amazed if that happened in my lifetime.

  63. You could well be right, mind you, when I first moved to Clapton Square 8 years ago I’d have been gob-smacked at the very notion of a shop opening like the one your tenants have created. The area’s changed so much in recent times, who knows what we might have in a few years’ time!

  64. I’m pleased it’s a Sainsburys which will cater to a broader cross-section of the community. But there’s already a (small) market here for more niche deli foods. Just a few hundred meters down the road by Pembury junction there’s a new Spanish deli opened (a few doors from Chase & Sorenssen).

  65. My Fresh & Wild comment was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek.  I agree Sainsburys is probably the best for the area as a whole –  though I would have certainly preferred a store with a little more character – more wood than PVC! Has anyone else heard about the super hip hair salon opening in lower clapton in the next month or so:  – I believe it is opening next to the launderette across from Harrison Electrical. So as crazy is the  Fresh & Wild vision sounds – surely it can’t be crazier than people sipping champagne on the lower clapton road while having a trim!!! Full story:

  66. \Prices start at £53 for a cut and finish for girls and £38 for boys” I’ll stick with Pasha on Stoke Newington High Street (£25 for a wetcut shave and face massage) but it is surely an indication or the rapid development going on right now. Its absolutely booming. Mental.”

  67. I knew it was going to be a hairdresser (I mentioned it earlier in this thread I think) but I didn’t know it was Bluetit. So within a few months LCR will have seen the Clapton Hart, Dreyfus Cafe, Bluetit salon, and a Sainsburys open! I sense a momentum building.

  68. Agree on the exciting sense of momentum – I only wish the Lord Cecil on LCR could have been reopened as a decent boozer instead of being redeveloped as flats. Oh well, maybe there’s still hope for Fitzgeralds just round the corner…

  69. I found the closing of Fitzgeralds frustrating. I reckon all they had to do to get some new custom in was rip out the chintz, expose the floorboards, give it a lick of paint and get some draught ale in. I wonder how many pubs close simply because of a lack of a culturally-savvy manager?

  70. Fitzgeralds certainly has a lot of potential. The problem with a lot of these old Irish pubs is that their regulars are old, a few dying off monthly – no changes to encourage new customers. The landlord does not realise he has a problem until one night he opens the till and it’s empty! BTW, you can get a good haircut for under a tenner at Saf’s Barbers on LCR – not sure what they would say if you asked for a \shave and face massage” – it may be a bit of Sweeney Todd experience!”

  71. I’ve had that all in safs and I still rate pasha better. As for pubs that service and older clientele, it’s often true. I’ve been going in the billet on UCR more often recently as the new landlord has barred (on his estimate) 200 undesirables over the last 12 months and it certainly has a better atmosphere. I keep suggesting to him to do things to promote a more, erm, gentrified crowd, but he’s convinced it wouldn’t happen for him. So I suggest a few people go in sometime and do the same -suggest better food, good beer, and a shisha bar out back. Simple things but they help to change perceptions.

  72. @gavinredknap Will do. What beers do they sell at the moment? I’ve never been in there, but from outside it looks as though they’ve got a large under-utilised garden. Am I right?This reminds me of an interesting article (and comments) on Loving Dalston earlier this year;

  73. Yes they have a big garden which has improved significantly. If i were offering design advice, I’d tell them to cut into their big and underused car park and bring the garden along the side too, to allow people to access that directly. The beers in there are pretty typical big name ones – again a push to the landlord to get some more varity in would help. Its still very much a locals pub, but its more friendly-local now, and I could see a good mix of them and never arrivals if they get things right in there.

  74. Yes they have a big garden which has improved significantly. If i were offering design advice, I’d tell them to cut into their big and underused car park and bring the garden along the side too, to allow people to access that directly. The beers in there are pretty typical big name ones – again a push to the landlord to get some more varity in would help. Its still very much a locals pub, but its more friendly-local now, and I could see a good mix of them and never arrivals if they get things right in there.

  75. A planning application has just been submitted for Fitzgeralds;\Refurbishment of existing ancillary residential upper floors to public house by the erection of a 2 storey rear extension to 1st and 2nd floor levels with rear windows and a mansard roof extension to create an additional floor at 3rd level with front dormer windows and rear windows to form 6 flats (3x 1 bed and 3x 2 bed); new residential entrance to front with bike store at ground floor level.”I can’t work out whether that affects the pub or not and the drawings aren’t accessible at the moment.

  76. I went past earlier today and a sign above the pub mentions ‘shop to let’ or something, so I’m assuming the ground floor will still be retail space of some kind.

  77. The old Somerfield / new Sainsburys now has the trademark orange hoarding around it and will be opening \in about 3 months” according to one of the guys working there.”

  78. Blue Tit Hair Salon opening tomorrow.

  79. Popped into the Blue Tit Salon on LCR earlier as it’s now open. Had a quick chat with the guys who work there and they seem friendly enough. It’s very shabby chic, much in the vein of the Clapton Heart. Apparently there is 50% off for the next 2 weeks too!

  80. I too popped in this morning and was surprised by the size of their basement studio. It’s a big old shop.The Evening Standard’s fashion editor gave them a short review yesterday;

  81. I passed by Blue Tit today. Looks great. Hipster Central, mind, almost parodically so. Still, it’s good to see a dormant commercial unit revived with such panache.

  82. There’s a shop on upper clapton road being fitted out by what look like young trendy types. It was very briefly an Indian takeaway that closed about two years back, roughly opposite the Supermarket on the junction with Northwold Road. No idea as to what it is yet, but anything other than a bookmakers would be a bonus.

  83. This is the place. Did good food but unfortunately there wasnt the demand to support the business. Hope the new place has better luck.

  84. @gavinredknap I think these are the newcomers;

  85. So it seems even the unloved Upper Clapton road is seeing a bit of gentrification. I look forward to seeing the Old Kings Head turned into a Ramsay gastropub….

  86. Let’s just hope they can survive there.

  87. Another new shop opening up soon on LCR – number 87, previously ‘Da Endz’, is having a lot of work done to it right now. I had a peek in on the weekend and it’s going to be a cozy little Turkish bar/ cafe/ restaurant very much in the mould of those down by the Rio cinema.

  88. The shop previously known as ‘Da Endz’ at 87 LCR is now open as a juice bar/cafe named Twilight.Also, the new Sainsburys (11-13 LCR) is opening tomorrow (with free cashpoint), which is just a stone’s throw from Dreyfus cafe which has just opened at no. 19.

  89. All change! I’ve had a peak in at Da Endz, and not sure it’s going to live up to potential. Seems to be specialising in paninis and fresh juice. I would have loved an Ocakbasi joint! Will try and visit over the next couple of weeks and check it out. Has anyone else been? Still need to pop in to Dreyfus cafe too.

  90. Just popped into the new Sainsburys. I’ve never got remotely excited about a supermarket in my life, but this place is about a zillion times better than the dung-heap that was there before. It looks about twice the size too, but one of the staff told me it’s pretty much the same floor area. Great to see some of the old Somerfield staff have got jobs here, I remember they were really nice.

  91. Just noticed on the Hackney Gov website that retailers in the Hackney Central area are now able to apply for funding to make improvements to their shop fronts – at least 30 businesses will be helped. It’ll be interesting to see which kinds of businesses apply (apparently those who also put in their own money are more likely to be picked) and what the impact on the area will be. I’ve seen the results of the recent shop-front improvement scheme in Leyton and its incredible the impact that good design and simple improvements can have on a tatty, messy shop front. The scheme will cover the upper part of Mare St, the Narroway and Clarence Road. I only hope if it’s successful, then the scheme might be rolled out to Lower Clapton Road as well. Here’s the link:

  92. Springboard Hackney at the Levy Centre (in the Strand Building opposite Fitzgeralds pub) have got plans in their window showing how they’ll be converting the left hand of the ground floor into a new cafe. From the plans it looks as if they’ll be spending a significant amount of money on it. I can’t find any more info online but they’re asking for suggestions for a name for the cafe. So it looks as though @nightboat ‘s Dreyfus Cafe across the road will be facing some more competition.

  93.“Springboard Hackney a provider in the YLW network is establishing a social enterprise café.

    The café will be situated within the Levy Centre in Hackney a training centre that supports young people and adults with basic and vocational skills to help them into the job market. The café will be staffed by apprentices and will welcome people living and working in and around Hackney to enjoy the space have a coffee and a bite to eat and find out more information about the services the centre provides. When YLW heard about the café they offered to support it in any way they could. Springboard Hackney is keen to involve the young people who use the centre in every stage of development and the marketing workshop was the perfect way to support them.

    YLW Marketing Coordinator Samantha Helps arranged for PR and Marketing partner Cynergy to run a pro bono workshop for young people focusing on what the café will look like how they see their customers branding and promotion.

    Sophie Earnshaw Programme Development Manager at CSV (Community Service Volunteers) said: “In support of the young people Springboard Hackney works with and the development of a social enterprise cafe at The Levy Centre Young London Working kindly organised an external organisation to facilitate a free marketing workshop for a large group of our learners and volunteers. The workshop was a great success and the young people felt engaged and involved. It has been a pleasure working in partnership with YLW and we hope to continue working with them in the future.”

    A YLW spokesman said: “We are all really looking forward to the launch of the café and supporting the young people who learn customer service and other skills whilst at the café into sustainable employment.””

  94. It looks like Twilight has closed again or they’ve decided to change the interior as they’re ripping it all out.

  95. Very strange that they decided to open a juice bar there when the areas in need of a decent Turkish restaurant. Hopefully this means theyve realised their mistake quickly and will come back with something that’s more popular.

  96. Indeed, I really hate seeing new businesses fail, but have to say I’m not surprised the place was always empty – the decor was pretty dark and oppressive to say the least. Needs to look much more welcoming, whatever the place turns into.

  97. Something on the mural by Run that adorns the front of the soon-to-be-open Depot gallery and cafe

  98. I strolled past Fitzgeralds this morning and it seems to be open again, but under its old name: Elephant’s Head. It looked like it was doing breakfasts (£3!!), and it seems to be an art/performance/community space: Will have to pop in and find out more.

  99. @robbieds oh cool, I love the old name, so nice to see it coming back. Let us know when you know more.

  100. Great, I wonder if they’ve taken over the lease or bought the place? I see the sign to lease the place is still up.

  101. Looks like the Windsor Castle pub is closed until further notice.I’m guessing this is the reason:

  102. we need a club or some sort of drinking place that’s open till late that plays good loud music, clapton hart’s always rammed on weekends if there was a place for those party people to go after (in the vicinity) it’d be so popular!

  103. I’ve just noticed that a banner has gone up on the Lord Cecil. It looks as though Gracewood Group have bought it;'s the same company that is currently redeveloping the former Cricketers pub on Downs/Clarence rd

  104. Well hopefully that’s good news, though the (lack of) speed at which theyve worked on the Cricketers leaves a lot to be desired. I see from their website that they redeveloped the Castle on the Barking Road in Plaistow – that’s just applied for permission to be a bookies. Let’s hope Clapton avoids that fate. Unlike Plaistow, Clapton is crying out for more late night venues, and certainly doesnt need any more bookmakers.

  105. @gavinredknap I always thought that there was very little a planning office could do to prevent bookies opening, but I’ve just come across this;\Newham Council has become the first local authority to use a clause to refuse an application for a betting shop.A plan to convert a retail unit in Upton Park into a betting shop submitted by Paddy Power was refused using a clause in the Gambling Act that insists 50% of trade should be from over the counter bets. The council ruled that most gambling in the new shop would be on machines.”″

  106. Well its a brave move but i dont know how successful it’ll be as there’s no way the bookies will accept it without a fight and its questionable as to whom the burden of proof will fall onto with regards to this 50% rule. One of the potential positive of the localism act would be that this sort of thing could be blocked at the local level, though i wish there were some other way to stop these companies preying on the disadvantaged like this.

  107. They can be stopped from opening but I think it has to be done by people who are living next door. William Hill were stopped from opening up on LCR in the space Tesco are now.

  108. @line1 that was the local residents in collaboration freeholders who didn’t want a betting shop in the space (although if the leaseholders had signed them up I’m sure their very expensive lawyers could have fought it)

  109. All depends what was drawn up in the original; schedule of the lease. Leases usually have all sorts of anachronistic rules in them that the freeholder can use to gain some influence (for example  im not allowed to play a gramophone in my flat, which causes all sorts of problems when I try to host a Charleston dance). Most freeholders of long leases just cant be bothered though, and thats if they know that they are freeholders at all.

  110. Looks like the juicebar has re-opened as a fruit/veg shop. I can’t remember the name so I can’t find the original post, no idea if the owners are the same. The interior is the same…

  111. @line1 Yes, I noticed that. I think it used to be called Twilight (?). But I don’t really see any demand for more fruit ‘n’ veg shops in the locality. I’m guessing from the minimal change and speed of turnaround that it is the same owners.I’ve also noticed that work is being done in the long vacant shop next door to Blue Tit hairdressers. If it’s the same size as Blue Tit’s it has a lot of potential.

  112. Yes, the owners of the Organic fruit & Veg store are the same owners of the previous juice bar (Twilight) and the sports shop that was there before that….Looks like they are eager to run a business of any sort, but  sadly they need to be a little more imaginative and design focused in attracting customers.  I personally do not like their taste in decor – and the juice bar….well that speaks for itself!LCR needs a lot of work – some very poor businesses -less PVC more wood structures for sure. Let’s hope the shop next to the Blue Tit will create something visually exciting for the community. I saw that the Caribbean restaurant/take away was up for sale or rent (can’t remember which) a few weeks back – that’s a nice space and would offer great potential in the right hands. Is it my imagination or does the sun never shine on LCR?

  113. I don’t know whether it’ll have any actual commercial benefit for LCR, but the March edition of Grazia magazine has a feature ’10 HOT THINGS TO DO IN EAST LONDON’, and both the Clapton Hart (Best Gastropub) and Palm2 (Best Deli) are mentioned. (Hackney features generally well).

  114. @feeno I agree with you about LCR – it needs a proper boost, and it’s a shame it won’t be benefitting from the shopfront revamp scheme that Mare St and Clarence Road are about to enjoy. There certainly aren’t many businesses along LCR that make you want to stop and linger for any amount of time and, sadly the Twilight juice bar / fruit and veg shop is one of the worst. Nothing about the dark, oppressive floor-to-ceiling animal print (!) is remotely enticing, in fact I think it’s actively repelling potential customers.

  115. Well lets see what opens up next to Blue Tit, and a new venue in what was the WIndsor Castle would cement the street’s rise. Did anyone get any info as to what’s going on there?

  116. Two bits of news;1) The shop next to Blue Tit is to open as a coffee shop in \around two weeks”.2) The Windsor Castle is to become a gastropub to open in “6 to 8 weeks”. The owners are the same crowd that run The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch and Birthdays in Dalston.”

  117. Well gentrification has well and truly arrived the past six months, no doubt about it now. Interestingly enough, the changes going on in Hackney are indicative of a national trend. A BBC report this morning highlighted how betting shops, moneylenders, pond shops and supermarket high street presence is on the rise, along with bars and cafes. Clearly the recession had an effect (though not so much in Clapton). Probably more important is that the middle of the high street is being hollowed out thanks to the internet. In its place is either the cheap goods retailers, or the expensive services retailers.

  118. A gastropub?! It’s a little strange for the people who own those type of places to open a gastropub. What’s the connection to Vice magazine? I see there is some sort of affiliation at least with Old Blue Last.Should be interesting!Any news on the name of the coffee shop or the new name of the Windsor Castle?

  119. I know that De Beauvoir Deli were interested in a Lower Clapton Road location. But I don’t think they’d be able to get their operation up in just two weeks.

  120. The coffee shop next to Blue Tit will be opening \hopefully Thursday”. It’s at 119 LCR. a new cafe named The Red Route Cafe will be opening soon in a part of the Levi Centre / Strand Building. Some pics on Twitter “

  121. I forgot to note the property number, but one of the shops in LCR (roughly opposite Castles estate agents – I think it used to be an internet cafe) has a poster in its window announcing a soon to open tattooists. I think it is to be called ‘Ink Fact’. They said they’ve got a facebook page but I can’t find it.

  122. Details of the launch of the Lower Clapton Road Traders and Residents association are over here:

  123. I note that the first suggestion made at the new LCRTRA is \…a sign at either end of the road to demarcate a Lower Clapton Road shopping area.”I can’t really see any logic in this and I do hope they don’t mean something like this..Edmonton shopping area

  124. I remember when East Ham decided to put up big signs at either end of high street north to demarcate it as a shopping area, in about 1992. Since then the place has sunk like a stone. Its a sign of desperation, and really not needed in an area that is on the up.

  125. @gavinredknap Agreed. They are synonymous with desperation. I can’t imagine why anyone would think it a good idea.

  126. Hunt and Darton to morph into record/book shop cum cafe? Looks like the Hayden part is the drummer for Florence and the Machine.

  127. Spoke to a Clapton lifer last night in Biddles who has been mates with Danny (of Danny’s motor spares at 117 LCR) for years. He said Danny has been given notice of eviction and will have to vacate next month. The landlord plans to apply for change of use to A3 (restaurant). Its obviously good to see the area on the up but a massive shame that long term, established businesses are getting turfed out when there’s unoccupied shops on the road.

  128. @gavinredknap Yes, that’s a huge shame for him. It’s a great looking premises though and would make a great restaurant. Do you know if Danny planning on re-opening somewhere else in the road?

  129. Not sure but I’m guessing no as he’s in his 50s and the chap I was talking to said the daytime economy on the high street has died since the council brought in parking costs a few years back. The obvious place to put a restaurant, for me, would be 127/129 (the tyre and furniture shops) as that part sits back from the road as the front areas could be utilised for outside dining/ drinking.

  130. Shame to read about this. I’ve never had any reason to buy anything from Danny’s, but always thought of the business as being an real asset on such a run down stretch of LCR. Interesting to think about what kind of restaurant would open there, though, and how it appears there’s an ever-growing cluster of new businesses along that part of the road. I wonder how many more will open in the next few years?

  131. The owner’s after £17,500 per year. I hope it doesn’t sit empty for long.

  132. By the way the Turkish social club/ brothel up at the pond is being done up and turned into a shop. Here’s the new sign, perhaps some sort of pirate themed thing…

  133. I thought that place had been converted from a \massage parlour” to a hairdressers years ago?”Cave of Plunder”? Second-hand shop?”

  134. Just asked the builders who are currently gutting the shop – \a clothes shop”. Sorry it’s a bit vague.”

  135. With regard to Danny’s the landlord just can’t give he notice, unless he has not been paying his rent of course. If he has been paying then the landlord can put the rant up but only by what is \reasonable”. Maybe a case for LoClapTRA to take up to support him and stop a greedy landlord forcing out an established business. With Lower Clapton Road being a recognised High Street the landlord will likely struggle to get a change of use as the Council will want to try and protect against the loss of A1 Use”

  136. @maeveskitchenWell they’re opening thick and fast now…Maeve’s Kitchen soon to open at 181 LCR (opposite the Pond);“The new restaurant will have a laid back casual dining approach serving a high standard of food using locally sourced and seasonal produce wherever possible. The cuisine will be based on stews and one pot dishes cooked slowly but served quickly in a relaxed home from home environment.  Drinks will consist of a small but well sourced wine list and locally brewed ale and beer.”And if you’re after a head chef job…;

  137. @maeveskitchen I’m really looking forward to this one. Do you have a rough idea of an opening date yet?

  138. good lord. its like some sort of gentrification blitzkrieg.

  139. \Aiming for the beginning of September” opening according to their twitter feed;

  140. Hi @benjamin, sorry to be a bit slow off the ground on this one, but you’re right, we’re aiming for the beginning of September and will keep you all informed as we get a bit closer!

  141. Thanks @maeveskitchen . I note from your twitter feed that you’ve started building works. Are you doing much? New shop front? What look are you going for?

  142. You note well!  A fair bit of work but nothing structural. We’re taking out some of the more ‘dated’ elements of the interior and stripping the shop front back to it’s original fascia.  The interior will be cosy and homely! Watch this space…

  143. Looks like there’s another restaurant opening on LCR. A planning application is in for change of use from retail to restaurant for 165 Lower Clapton Road.

  144. @line1 That’s a good large shop with some space out front for tables in summer. 165 LCR

  145. They’ve included outdoor seating at the front in their application so that’s good.

  146. Two more restaurants on LCR would be a great addition. Line1 do you have any more information on the application or a link to the application? Cheers

  147. Thanks. Not much information yet but hopefully we’ll find out more the further the application goes. A lot to offer on both Upper and Lower Clapton Road, going to be spoilt for choice. Looking forward to next weeks opening of the Crooked Billet, just hope the weather lasts so can use that massive beer garden! 🙂

  148. @line1 I clocked that application today too@R-L-M it’s worth signing up for alerts on this app

  149. And if anyone else fancies opening a shop on LCR, there’s a vacant shop new to the market at 217.217 LCR217 Lower Clapton Road Hackney E5 New to the marketNO PREMIUMCompetetive rentalFully self-containedLarge Shop FrontBusy LocationRates: £4725 payableAvailable from 29 June 2013 NO PREMIUM…Excellent condition and within a brilliant location is the fully self contained SHOP TO LET.This unit is located on busy Lower Clapton Road that is reknown for having a busting foot fall and is just by the junction of Lea Bridge Road and Kenninghall Road. The shop is offered on a new FRI lease terms of which are negotiable and will suit a Retail type business. Full shop size is 48 sq meters/ 500 sq feet ( approx)

  150. Danny’s motorshop has closed (sadface). It was a friendly place, but they have moved to Loughton It’s a nice curved shop front, just by 119 and Blue Tit. I wonder who will snap it up. Photo from London Shop Fronts

  151. I do hope the owner’s got the savvy not to replace the shopfront – the leaded upper parts of the windows are still in tact behind those ‘Free Delivery’ signs. If it’s the same person who owns the residential above then I may be dissappointed as the original sashes were replaced with UPVC only a few years ago.

  152. I note that the premises licensing application has been submitted for 181 LCR (Maeve’s Kitchen); also note that the applicant’s name is Dominic Dromgoole and – given that it is an unusual name – I’m assuming it’s the renowned theatre director and writer;

  153. Looks like a typical ocakbasi restaurant to me with that big grill area to the side.

  154. That was my thought too – and if it is, and it’s good quality, I think it would be a welcome addition to the mix of restaurants in the area.

  155. They’re yet to update their website but apparently Meade’s florist currently of 96 Morning Lane (the building that’s recently been painted black for the ‘Fashion Hub’) will be relocating to 15 LCR (the long-boarded-up shop between Winkworth estate agents and Sainsburys Local.”

  156. Just noticed a poster in LCR shop window;Unfortunately, after 62 years, Gibsons Photography of 97 LCR, will be closing down.They will however continue trading online;

  157. Only just noticed this property piece from Friday’s Guardian written by Tom Dyckhoff (a local man incidentally);’Let’s move to Clapton, north-east London’

  158. Did anyone see the notice on the door of the empty Tiki Tattoo place near Sainsburys?I didn’t read it properly but it was something to do with land use.

  159. @line1 It’s just an order from the council telling the owner to tidy the place up.

  160. Just had a brief chat with the people working on the exterior of 117 LCR (formerly Danny’s Motor Shop). They said they were opening a temporary shop selling bikes (the same ones as are being displayed at 119 cafe next door). It’ll only be open for a month or so whilst the new intended occupiers get the appropriate change of use permission to open as a vet. I’m guessing that a vet won’t have much interest in keeping that lovely original shop front.

  161. A vet? What a boring outcome for such a nice shop. I noticed the Chinese shop shut down, which is a shame for me as I shopped in there occasionally

  162. Oh no! That was an incredibly useful spot for ingredients.

  163. A planning app has gone in for 215 LCR (the pink internet shop);\Division of retail unit (A1) and change of use to form minicab office (sui generis) with shared facilities and separate entrance. Proposed hours of operation: 24 hours per day Monday – Sunday. “

  164. The application for the former \massage parlour” (201 LCR) has now been approved and I note that the new shop front has already gone in. Some time ago the builders told me that it was to become a clothes shop but I note that the plans include reference to a “milkshakes and sweets counter”. It’s to go by the name “Cave of Plunder”.’m having some difficulty imagining the concept myself.”

  165. A vet, awesome, it will be great to have one so nearby, getting the bus with a cat isn’t fun for either of us. Hopefully they will keep the front.

  166. @ewebber I’ve only just realised that the shop is just within the boundaries of Clapton Sq Conservation Area, so it might stand a chance after all.

  167. Yep Cave of Plunder seems an odd one. I reckon it’ll be a vintage shop.

  168. @benjamin worth keeping an eye on any planning that comes through.

  169. Hi all,I am pleased to inform you that the Cave of plunder is going to be a gift and gadget shop in the back from Talking Ted Plush (from TED the movie) to the Tetris Light, to Quirky gadgets such as ginger dead cookie cutters and the good old favourites such as rubix cube….there will also be a range of toiletries such as Burts Bees and Bomb Cosmetics as well as high end sports memoribilia gifts TBC but to included signed Lionel Messi football boot, Tyson boxing gloves etc…..Also very child friendly gifts, baby gifts, a small range of books…. There will be fancy dress down stairs with retro milkshakes (Oreo, Wispa, Bourneville, etc), fruit smoothies, ice cold frappes, juices feshly made on site in the front with retro weighed sweets..(cough candy to flying saucers)…a wide range of these sweets will be vegaterian, all will be halal suitable and many halal approved to cater for the diverse ethnic community…More to follow…..Approx 2 weeks from opening,…We look forward to serving you…..Kind regardsThe Team part of the team (both trading names of LB retail Ltd….Websites to go online shortly after store opening….A friendly, family owned businessCave Of Plunder….Is literally going to be a treasure trove of quirky and unique gifts for all ages….

  170. Have you got any mogwais?

  171. Lol no sorry…However we will be stocking Gremlin Licenced fancy dress and also messenger and wash bags (with Mogwais).

  172. The pop-up bike shop at 117 LCR (formerly Danny’s Motor Shop) is now open.It’s only open ’til the end of August, so if you’re in the market for a hand-made fixie for £435, better get there soonish.

  173. No Mogwais unfortunately but we DO have a cave inside..

  174. Hi guys, Just to update any one interested……We have finally opened section 1 of Cave Of Plunder….(Cafe section) at this point we can offer freshly squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, real fruit milkakes, chocolate bar milkshakes, weighed sweets and top quality bread for our sandwiches sourced locally from E5 Bakehouse..Coffee is to be brought online shortly and will be of the highest quality to match the demand for quality. We will be sourcing comfy chairs in the near future also so people can unwind and relax on any day and enjoy a frshly prepared sandwich and coffee. Section 2 will be open this weekend (gifts)with the decorators working continuously in the basement so that the fancy dress dept can open within the next month (aiming for 2/3 weeks) followed by mail order Section 4 ( can then get in full swing… There have been a few delays as we are trying to ensure the customer experience and quality they receive will be unrivalled…..So please do bear with us. Thank you all for your patience

  175. Forgot to add….we will also have baby chairs shortly and launching local school initiatives to help supportthe local ccommunity……watch this space….

  176. Looks like the tattoo shop Ink Fact is opening in the next few weeks. Anyone have any clue as to what happened with Riley’s? They posted on their twitter and FB accounts about closing but nothing since.

  177. It looks as though Meade’s florist (formerly of Morning Lane) are now open at 15 LCR (next to Sainsbury Local) ;

  178. Are they now open I have seen they have been working on the place, they are a great florists, they lost their place at Morning Lane due to the New Development

  179. Cave Of Plunder is pleased to announce we have now oboarded our coffee supplier and can now boast to offer not only the latest talked about retro milkshakes in town but also one of the top coffees in London.We will be offering this luxurious coffee daily within 10 days. It’s name?……….NUDE ESPRESSO…..Our opening hours will be 6:30 am till 10pm Mon-Thurs, 11-11 Sat and 11-8 Sunday and we will now start to add cakes, croissants, tasty sandwiches, soup and porridge to our menus to compliment this lovely coffee pumping from our newly acquired La Marzocco.

  180. @ewebber It looks as though the new vets (formerly Danny’s Motor Shop) is restoring the original shop front (with some amendments on the passage elevation);

  181. @benjamin great stuff. After taking my cat on the bus yesterday, I can’t wait for this to open.

  182. There’s also a new cafe/ creperie in the back of Clapton Organics, 87 LCR! Opened by myself a few weeks ago – a bored mum who needed something else to do with my time. I popped into the shop as I was passing one day and the owner asked me if I knew anyone who wanted to use the space at the back of the shop, and hey presto, a few weeks later I’ve launched The Pocket Cafe! So if you fancy a crepe, why not come and see what I’ve done?

  183. A licensing application has just appeared in the window of 97 LCR (formerly Gibsons Photography).It is for an off-licence. The names on the form are Tom McKim and William Jack – both of whose names I have found have links to @BoroughWines . Indeed, William Jack appears to be their Retail Manager;

  184. This is a Yeah Hackney! community ANNOUNCEMENT…….as a THANK YOU for welcoming Cave Of Plunder to the neighbourhood, we are offering the entire Yeah Hackney! TEAM and all contributory posters on this ‘specific’ forum (How to improve commercial vibrancy) A FREE CHOCOLATE BAR MILKSHAKE OR NUDE ESPRESSO COFFEE for a WHOLE WEEK as a thank you to you…. without people like you, we wouldn’t be who we are today ……Ask for Costas/mention YEAH HACKNEY and show this post on print out and for a WHOLE WEEK for either of the above we will serve you complimentary…. THIS OFFER ENDS 14/10/13…..see in store for details, rules apply….. One coffee/milkshake a day for seven days, applies only to yeah hackney forum posters and/or administrators….see in store for details. Thanks again….

  185. @cave-of-pluder that’s very kind of you.I’m not in Hackney during the week, but will pop by at the weekend to sample some coffee 🙂 The full list of posters on this thread are: @benjamin @Graciela @damian @GavinRedknap @@robbieds @R-L-M @line1 @maeveskitchen @jason @feeno @pehpers @nightboat @MarcusHessenberg @morriap @colonelhackney @marty21 @euan and myself @ewebber (I’m the only administrator on yeah! Hackney)

  186. Re 97 LCR;I’ve just heard from one of the applicants and apparently it’s not a Borough Wines venture but two staff members starting their own thing.

  187. Word on the street is that they are opening a craft beer shop 🙂 cc @quitepeculiar

  188. Curses! There goes mine and my boyfriend’s plans to open a craft beer shop round here! But nice to know we’ll have somewhere local to buy it anyway.

  189. Aha! I know Will from Borough Wines, and they get beer from The Five Points into their Stoke Newington and Wilton Way locations frequently. Great that there’s a dedicated off license popping up. I’ve had chats with two other places opening up on Lower Clapton Road as they’ve both inquired about our beer. I’ll leave it to them to announce things though. :D”

  190. We popped into @cave-of-plunder last night and were greeted by the owner, who told us about all the great plans for the place in particular the introduction of sandwiches coming very soon. Just thought I’d share with you all that his shop is looking excellent and with amazing milkshakes to match. Thoroughly recommend the Yorkie Bar Milkshake although my partner would disagree and suggest the Kinder Bueno White Milkshake, easy to say both are worth a try. The shop has lots of cool gadgets and items on offer.Just want to say thanks again for the milkshakes and we’ll be back soon.Try them out, the Coffee looked good too! 🙂

  191. @R.L.MGlad you guys liked It! Thanks for coming down…. Remember you have six more free milkshakes/coffees to go, so feel free to pop back in…..thanks again, it is good to meet like minded people, interested in improving the local area on forums like this..@ewebber….feel free….anytime….look forward to it, had new seating and plug points put in today, for those interested in working outside the house…so we are all wifi’d and laptop ready to go and any other of the guys feel free to say hello and grab a coffee or shake… its my gesture of saying hi to the local community…and share in some of that local spirit…Thanks again guys, hope to see you all soon..

  192. Cave of Plunder, you are very kind and I hope to swing by on Saturday. In other news, very excited about the prospect of a craft beer shop on LCR. Plugging a gap in the market. We have quite a lot opening on LCR. Dare I say that places seem to be opening more quickly than on Chatsworth Road…

  193. @robbieds I was wondering the same thing about Chatsworth. Once a few more shops open on LCR I reckon you’ll see more affluent shoppers gravitate from Chatsworth (and elsewhere) to LCR.With its better location, size, free cashpoints, transport links and (hopefully) diversity between mainstream local supermarkets and independent niche grocers, bars and eateries that, between them, cater to a broad spectrum, and pleasant green spaces at either end, LCR has the potential to become a very successful high street. The ball is certainly rolling in that direction, and gaining momentum.

  194. Dont forget Upper Clapton too – Sodo, the vintage shop, the Tram Shed and the Billet, Clapton’s greatest pub!

  195. True. I’ve been really surprised how that stretch of UCR has changed in the last 12 months or so. It also has the additional benefit of Clapton rail station.

  196. I read somewhere (which I can’t remember) that a few of the new restaurants on Chatsworth were set up by the same developer. Would anyone happen to know his name – and preferably, contact details?

  197. I popped into @cave-of-plunder earlier and had a double whammy – coffee and (mars) milkshake :)Both were very good. Glad to have nude coffee so close to home.

  198. It was a pleasure to have you guys… Glad you popped down and said hello. Thanks again and you are always more than welcome :)P.s I know at the time we didnt have twitter at the time, so I pushed our marketing team, so now I am pleased to say we now have …. if anyone wants to follow us, please do…Thanks again for the local support guys…Yeah Hackney you guys are priceless support…Local comes first….Onwards and upwards…Costas… 🙂

  199. @cave-of-plunder I wonder why you didn’t register caveofplunder as a twitter handle – it’s available, matches your instagram name and a shorter twitter name is an awful lot better when people mention you as it uses less of your 140 character limit. I’d advise registering it asap.

  200. @ewebber thanks for that…Done. It is now….🙂

  201. A gushing advertorial from Hackney Citizen on the recent opening of Meade’s the florist;“For nine years Meade’s was based in Morning Lane and the ‘fashion hub’ development on that street led the shop to relocate with help from Hackney Council to 15 Lower Clapton Road into a unit that was previously occupied by a betting shop.”

  202. I’m new to the area but it seems like an exciting time for LCR. There’s that new coffee shop – Dom’s Place – Opening soon too. The street seems to have come a long way since this forum began. Happy times.

  203. @PatrickScott1712‘Dom’s Place’ is an ocakbasi Turkish restaurant that used to be called ‘Dunya’. It (re)opens on the 14th; This may also be of interest to you; Things are certainly changing quickly here now. Welcome to the area.

  204. So is it going to be a coffee house or a Turkish? I hope to god the latter.

  205. @gavinredknap they’ve definitely got an ocakbasi in there.

  206. Thanks! Yeh I saw the cricketers thread and I tweeted one of the guys who was meant to be taking it over it and he confirmed they were still in negotiations over various things which is why it’s taken so long.

  207. Good. I was getting unwanted coffee palpitations.

  208. Twitter page for the new craft beer shop opening on LCR

  209. Intriguing Tweet from Dave Hill aka Ed Villah;

    Rumours about intimate speakeasy-style jazz-flavoured membership club being planned for #clapton are grounded in reality I can report.

    — Ed Villah (@EdVillah) November 11 2013

  210. As a thank you for local student support, we are now offering ALL students, a shake or hot chocolate drink for 99p* between the hours of 10am & 3:30 weekdays…..Terms & Conditions apply. Ask store for details. #theoriginalclaptonpondshake Offer ends 31st December 2013

  211. Noble Wines have got an application in for an off license at 107 Lower Clapton Road They have a shop in Broadway Market. It’s pretty fancy. Not sure what'[s happening with Clapton Craft which originally applied for a license at 97 Lower Clapton Road. “

  212. @robbieds That’s the former ‘Great Wall’ Chinese shop. I guess with one selling beer and the other wine, there’ll be no clash.

  213. Clapton Craft appear to be selling temporarily on Chatsworth Road right now. Guess that still means a LCR presence but also worth noting that Noble wines sell ales (i refuse to call it ‘craft beer’) as well, so may be a bit of a crowded market. In other news the furniture shop close to Riley’s is having a closing down sale, presumably ahead of the fit out for the Ocakbasi restaurant it will become.

  214. A planning application has been submitted to the council for 104 Lower Clapton Road which would reduce the commercial floor space on the ground floor by creating a residential unit at the back of the shop.  See application link: (2013/3726) The reduction in size would make the unit useless will further partitioning for a WC/storage etc.The reduction in size of commercial units has a real detrimental effect on the number and type of business’ that can use the space and i would urge people to object to this if we want to see Lower Clapton Road continue to flourish with new business and has been seen lately!

  215. @gavinredknap Looks as though the soon-to-be ocakbasi at 165 might get a snooker hall in the basement;

  216. I wonder if that relates to the ‘speakeasy’ that Dave Hill mentioned a couple of weeks back? Although if it is a members club it’ll manage about ten members at a time.

  217. Few updates on the Upper Clapton Road; along with the impending re-opening of Needen Urfa, the Hot Pot Caribbean place is being upgraded it seems and the Anatolia take-away has had its guts ripped out – hopefully to come back as a proper Turkish restaurant. Also the strangely popular 79 Clapton greasy spoon has applied for planning permission for a front deck and canopy, which make me sure they’ll change it at least to some degree – you dont have decks and canopies on greasy spoons, as a rule.

  218. Seems as if 159 LCR formerly Riley’s of clapton is now called candela? Is Riley’s gone for good? Anyone know what happened there? Go bust? And what is candela going to be. Sneaky peeks looks much the same as Riley’s a small bar??

  219. This is on Riley’s facebook page from 17th Oct

  220. @Kaneharvey13 Candela is going to have “Creative Latin Cuisine”; New Years Eve!Candela

  221. Yes, saw both Riley and Candela posters, just seems strange is all..the boys at Riley seemed potentially to have a good thing going. Good little event space, and the taco night was great! Proper local. It isn’t a case of the blokes at riley rebranding or is it a whole new business venture? Just seems a shame at the moment..

  222. It’s a completely different venture. From what I gather the Riley crew had some real difficulties with the landlord/lease – not sure what, and have abandoned the project. That’s what some Facebook posts on their wall (now deleted, it seems) suggested. If you google Candela Clapton, a few page headlines show up, including one titled Wood fired oven pizza. I hope this isn’t their main offer as we’re pretty well sorted for pizza in Clapton by now with Sodo, Vesuvio, Palm2, Il Guscio, Venerdi, Kino, Pizza Man, Star by Hackney Downs, Princess of Wales, Pembury…!

  223. Yeah a wood fired pizza oven hardly fits in with the idea of ‘creative Latin cuisine’. Let’s hope that its a Brazilian/ Peruvian sort of thing similar to other offerings that have sprung up the past year around London. It might be something to do with the influx of Brazilians that seems to be going on in Seven Sisters/ Stamford Hill/ Upper Clapton these days. There’s a place called Cantina do Gaucho in Stamford Hill where on a Wednesday you can get Brazilian pichana for £6.50 and on Saturday does feijoada for less than £7. Here’s the website, which funny enough is only in Portuguese:

  224. I heard that the guy that owns Palm 2 is taking over what used to be Rileys…

  225. Shame to see Hackney Travel’s shop (opp. ex police station) has closed down.Still trading online though;

  226. @gavinredknap If you’re into Latin Am food, have you heard about new Peruvian on corner of Shoreditch High St. and Redchurch?

  227. A planning app has been submitted for works on no.159 (Candela / ex Rileys);\Change of use of the premises from a social club to a restaurant (Use Class A3) on the ground floor and a bar (Use Class A4) in the basement.” 2013/4109Design & Access Statement here. @maid-up Looks like you were right about it being a project by Palm2’s Abdullah Solak.I’m guessing the basement bar is the “speakeasy” that Dave Hill mentioned.”

  228. Anyone made it down to Candela yet? As I suspected there is something afoot at 118 UCR. The crappy hoarding has been taken down revealing a lovely old sign saying \C.W Toop” (if i recall rightly) and looking inside tonight its clearly going to be a Turkish cafe-cum-ocakbasi in the mould of places that you see on Stoke Newington High Street.”

  229. I went to Candela the other night. It was really fun and the food was good. It’s co-owned by a guy called Lukasz, who is madly passionate about Latin America and very eager and friendly – a refreshing change from hipster service. They’re experimenting with the menu still, but prices are £6 to £8 for single dishes (you’d probably need a couple per person to fill up), including ceviche, really good burgers, nachos (with properly flavoursome chili), chips made from South American roots like yams and yucca, as well as guacamole etc. My only complaint was that some of the portions of key elements (e.g. chili con carne) felt a teeny bit stingy. It was full when we were there and everyone seemed to be having a good time. They plan to open the basement space for dancing etc soon. Will blog it properly soon!

  230. I’ve written up my visit to Candela here.”

  231. 118 Upper Clapton Road is now open and goes by the name of Cafe Mosaic. its been done out very well and has decent outside space out front. the food is typical cafe fayre at the moment though I can imagine it being developed over time, especially if they want to get hold of some evening business. Nevertheless its good to have a place close by to get your Turkish spinach and cheese wraps. Meanwhile the Hot Pot is being done up and renamed the Kingston Jerk Hut or something similar, and Neden Urfa looks close to opening. Theyve managed to sqeeze some tables in there too, which is good.

  232. A cycleshop-cafe for Lower Clapton Road: Caballo on Chatsworth Road does a roaring trade by the looks of thins, so sure there’s market for something similar serving a slightly different geography.

  233. Good find @robbieds . I’ve been trying to work out which premises they might occupy and I think I’ve narrowed it down a bit. Their Facebook page states LCR \E6 8EG”. Assuming they mean E5 then that postcode is between the Clapton Hart and the Downs Rd junction and if my memory serves the only vacant shops in that stretch are the former Turkish Sports/Social club and the former Nollywood hairdressers. I’d guess that the latter might be a tad small for a cycle shop cafe so my money is on the former Turkish Social club thingy. But this is calculated guesswork.”

  234. I know the chaps that are opening it, and while youre nearly there Benjamin, youre just out. Its going to be in the old Nollywood, subject to the legal paperwork being finalised. Driving up LCR today I noticed builders working on the Lord Cecil. Let’s hope that its more than just remedial work and the owner has finally come around to the fact that the’s never going to be able to demolish the building. Would be great to see that place done up, the biggest eyesore in the area as far as im concerned

  235. @GavinRedknap Ah, I nearly got it. Any idea of a time-frame for opening?Re Lord Cecil: I’ve noticed builders on the roof for a few weeks now. They don’t seem to be doing anything substantial. My guess, just remedial works.

  236. There I was thinking it was *ages* since something new was announced for LCR. And then I spotted: – a pop up cocktail bar: – a specialist denim shop

  237. I walked past the old Fitzgerald’s pub the other day (next to King’s Hall leisure centre) and noticed a hive of activity inside, with someone outside painting the sign a vivid shade of green. Could it be reopening soon, I wonder? Can’t find anything online about it.

  238. @GavinRedknap Looks like I was wrong about Lord Cecil. Most of the rear has now been demolished so I’m assuming they are now going to complete the conversion into flats upstairs with the ground floor split into two commercial units – as per permission. @Robbieds wow. I note the cocktail bar is at 112 LCR. Any idea where the denim shop will be situated? @jason I think the builders are finishing the flats upstairs and the entrance to them is the RHS door of old pub. The former pub itself however remains a shell so I doubt there’s any imminent opening. Hopefully they’ll do a decent job of restoring the pub/shop frontage.

  239. Mainly because the owners cant be bothered to do anything and are just happy to sit on it and wait for prices to rise, I would imagine. Its a shame but theyre within their rights to do it, unless theyre allowing a listed building to deteriorate dangerously. There has been a big effort to bring this sort of land into temporary usage, which is a great thing but always at risk of the temporary tenants refusing to give up the land at the end of the agreement, or even a campaign to seize the land (see Dalston Curve Garden).

  240. All good by the sounds of it. The one misgiving I have about the Cecil is that permission is only for A1 and A2. Hopefully they will apply for A3 as well which would allow the main part of the ground and basement of the former pub to have a future as a bar/ restaurant.

  241. From Dalstonist: A community cafe for Clapton Common? Could this be the northernmost nice cafe in Hackney? For the record I don’t think there’s anywhere in Clapton charging £3 for a flat white.

  242. wow .. you people talk you colonialists .. you have no appreciation whatsoever that other people live here, have probably lived here far longer than you and wanted Dannys, the Chinese shop, the old Windsor castle, and all the ither shops that have been driven out by people with more money  .. not so far of off ethnic cleansing in my book ..

  243. Don’t know if someone already posted this but it looks like Fitzgerald’s will remain a pub.

  244. Thanks @line1 I hadn’t noticed.Open til 2am. “on and off sales of alcohol”. Isn’t that unusual?

  245. @robbieds that looks great, since the new(ish) playground was put it, the common is used loads. A community cafe would no doubt be a great addition to that spot.

    I wouldn’t pay £3 for a flat white, but I don’t know where charges that either!

  246. Looks like Noble got the licensing agreed for their LCR shop:

    Decent opening hours! I’ll probably struggle to afford most of their stock though…

  247. So are we getting a Nobel and Clapton Craft on the same street – eep!
    You wait ages for real ales and they all arrive at once.

    • @ewebber yup, although Noble won’t sell beer at this branch because of Clapton Craft. I am so so excited about Clapton Craft.

      • Ah I see. I guess the nearest competition will be L’Entrepôt then

  248. 87 Lower Clapton Road, recently the Organic fruit & Veg / Pocket cafe, formally Twilight, formally Da Endzz has the decorators in, anyone know what’s happening with it?

  249. Wow, it’s crazy development.

    If I didn’t have a job I would never need to leave Lower Clapton Road!

    • For sure, although I wonder if there’s enough demand for all the places opening up. When I cycle past mid evening sometimes I see quite a few of the pubs are fairly empty – Windsor Castle, Star by Hackney Downs and Kino in particular. With three or four more evening venues opening in the next few months, it’s going to be tough competition unless more people come to Clapton from elsewhere.

  250. It does feel like more people are visiting, but guessing that’s weekend traffic rather than week days. As a local it’s nice to know that places won’t be rammed during the week, but whether it’s sustainable or not is a different question.

  251. Personally i think some of the newcomers need to take a long hard look at their pricing policy. They might want to attract an Islingtonite crowd but there isnt enough of them here yet to go around. In the meantime, being a bit more welcoming to the original punters might help. Of all of the bars that have opened in the past couple of years, only in the Billet do I continue to see some of the pre-gentrification crowd.

    By the way, I noticed this article that appears to have sourced information directly fro this thread..:

  252. OK, I think it’s time for a new thread; ‘How to stifle commercial vibrancy on Lower Clapton Road’!

  253. I’ve got a few ideas:

    – cut off buses
    – remove traffic lights and pedestrian crossings
    – remove bike parking facilities (including street lights etc)
    – pilot a police free zone
    – create a wifi blackspot

  254. Caffeine tax? Or would that just serve to further exclude the less affluent?

  255. Beard tax, ankle length jeans tarrifs and a ban on ‘craft ale’ should do it.

  256. only serve larger.

    …. oh hold on I live on Lower Clapton Road, please no.

  257. Or…instead of everyone and their dog writing gentrification articles, we could pay all these journalists to write pieces about how Clapton had so much potential but is now really boring, generic and overpriced.

  258. Deny it’s existence? “Clapton? No, never heard of it are you sure you’re not looking for Clapham? Just head south and west a bit”

  259. Dont worry, the storm is passing out eastwards. The really fashionable anti-gentrification mob have now firmly set their sites on “Awesomestow”:

  260. I thought it was all about Leyton (both Hackney and Walthamstow are too expensive for people to buy)

    Yeah! Waltham Forest

  261. Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Forest Gate, even Manor Park. Foxtons are selling gaffs in Plaistow and East Ham now.

    If you’re hanging onto a rising balloon, you’re presented with a difficult decision – let go before it’s too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?

  262. It’s amazing the amount of estate agent cold marketing I get in my post box these days.

    Almost every day someone is telling me they can sell my flat. This for a block that didn’t get a lot of interest 8 years ago.

  263. Looks like the new Turkish restaurant Yörük will be open soon

  264. Yörük now open.

  265. I went to Little Ivy’s last night – the food was incredible, some of the best I’ve had in a long time. Lots of herbs, innovative flavours, quality ingredients. Tapas, but with wider influences – Brazilian and Italian mainly. I’ll do a proper blog soon.

    The prices seemed fair £6-7 for big tapas plates, £12 for a bigger dish with gigantic prawns and plantains.

    I had a window seat and was really struck by how many people looked in, contemplating whether to go in, but perhaps slightly intimidated by the lack of menu in window.

    Service could have been a little bit more attentive, but very warm and relaxed.

  266. Here’s some Catalan chorizo with rosemary and delicious bread, and courgette ribbons with Sicilian lemons, basil, rocket and some really more-ish parmesan and ricotta combo.

  267. Looks great, would be awesome if you could post a link to your full post once it’s up

  268. I went las night as well, we had the Mussels and the Meatballs, the sauces were very moorish and great flavours. I wonder how long it will take to reach saturating point with so many new businesses opening, and counting.

  269. Well we went in Little Ivy’s at 9 last night and were turned away….then we went over to Il Guscio and had to wait nearly an hour in Biddles (hard work) for a table there. My guess is that we are some way off saturation and if the area starts to get a rep as a gastronomic destination then it’ll start to fill out with these places.

  270. Working on the assumption that the next couple of eateries due to open will be of (at least) a decent standard, I would’ve thought there would be enough restaurants and booze outlets to justify promoting LCR as a gastro destination as @gavinredknap suggests. I was wondering if Clapton Festival is happening this year and if so whether it could be somehow incorporated, or if not, perhaps a separate one-day event?

  271. Funny you should mention that actually Ben as ive been speaking to the people that usually run it (and cant this time) about taking up the reins this year. Some of the people that run the Book Club in Shoreditch are interested in getting involved and Ive spoken to the people at the Crooked Billet about that possible being the hub for Upper Clapton in the festival – it having until now not being involved. I was thinking about bringing a few other pubs in too. I didn’t think about the restaurant angle, though. Perhaps others on here might want to get involved?

  272. @gavinredknap if you want to create a specific thread about it, I’ll do a few call outs on the fyh twitter account, which has a fairly big reach.

  273. Here’s my write up of Little Ivy’s

    I’ve also done a neat little round-up of the forthcoming openings we’ve discussed on this thread – let me know if I’ve missed anything or you know of anything else in the pipeline!

    • A nod and link to Yeah! Hackney as a source would be appreciated 😉

  274. @ewebber I’d put a link in already, but now made it more explicit! Credit to our collective sleuthing.

    • Indeed, the lower clapton road detective agency!

  275. Given that I’m a bit of an IT ignoramus, a couple of questions which I guess are aimed primarily – but not solely – at @ewebber ;
    a)How difficult/expensive would it be to create a simple website with an attractive, simplified illustrated map of LCR and environs which included numbered markers indicating locations of all the gastronomic related shops which linked to their own website/Twitter/Facebook?
    b)How useful (or not) would such a tool be to promote LCR as a gastronomic destination? And, more generally;
    c)Is such a themed promotion for LCR desirable?

  276. Also, I do hope most of the long-existing shops on LCR manage to exploit the road’s boom. Some will probably have to radically change but others probably only need a bit of a makeover and marketing. One such shop being Mersin 2 Fresh Fish Shop. It never seems very busy to me, but I bet if it had a trendy makeover sales would rocket.

  277. Forgot to add; the former chicken shop (‘Perfect Chicken’) next door to soon-to-be ‘Pie Franco’ (Noble Wines new venture) will be opening in “6 to 8 weeks” as – wait for it – a pizza joint.

  278. @benjamin in response to your points:

    a) with websites it’s always a bit “how long is a piece of string” it depends on the functionality (e.g. this site is very involved and takes a lot of time and effort, a single page like is fairly quick and easy).

    Being agile and lean minded, I would always say, start with the basics (in this case probably a google map) and embed it in a page, put it out there and see what happens, you could base the need for more functionality on how real users use it. Happy to host such a map on this site or as a subdomain as long as you kept the map up to date. If you need some help on the how to do this, I can show you.

    Google maps engine (e.g. this map) gives you a few more options than just google maps. You could easily add links in the map markers (for website/twitter/facebook etc)

    b) That’s a whole other question, I’m sure the council would want it as would the businesses. Some locals might want to keep it all a secret 😉

    c) as above

  279. Spotted on my cycle into work today: the former travel agents at 31 Lower Clapton Road looks like it’s going to become a sign and print shop.

  280. Looks like the new pizza place is going to be called Yardsale Pizza

    And this guy seems to be involved:

    Looks promising!

    • I hope “Yardsale” doesn’t have too much of a negative impact on Il Guscio, it’s such a nice little place.

      Had a glance into Biddle Bros while walking past last Thursday night too, not a single soul in there…. doesn’t bode well.

  281. It does indeed, do you know where this is going to be?

  282. I think 105 LCR, next to where Pie Franco fancy wine shop will be.

    I spotted another couple of places in the middle stretch of LCR that look like they’re having work did at the weekend too.

  283. @robbieds I notice a shop near the Hayden Wylds coffee place is being worked on. Looks like it was once a ‘Fancy Goods’ shop judging by the old sign! Is that the one of the units you mean? I was wondering if it might end up being the Denim Boutique you mentioned in one of your articles. Which other unit is being done up at the moment?

  284. So it looks like Fancy Goods is going to be Wild and Wooly, a wool shop!

  285. Bad Denim tweeted me that they are going to be roughly opposite Windsor Castle.

  286. Anyone have any update on what was due to be a vet in the former Danny’s motor shop? It’s been a while since there was any movement there.

  287. Given that someone looks like they’ve knocked a door shape hole into the wall facing Clapton Passage I figure something’s progressing in fits and starts. Like a couple of shops on LCR it’s not progressed at rocket pace. Maybe it’s landlords being tricky with leases. Maybe it’s the experience of people taking on the leases. The expansion projects like Little Ivy and the wine shop appear to move faster than the first timers. But this is baseless speculation.

  288. The ability of planners and lawyers to get in the way of commerce is legendary.

  289. Looks like Clapton Craft is opening Friday at 12. They are at 97 LCR.

    • Oohhh good stuff

  290. Popped into Clapton Craft. Looks good. Saw a license notification a couple of doors up for Yard Sale Pizza in an old fried chicken. LCR seems in a real tumult right now.

  291. Have to back up the reviews for Little Ivy’s, the food there is absolutely superb. Especially the meatballs and chorizo. Also popped into the Star by Hackney Downs last night and can confirm that the chicken wings are excellent and good value.

  292. Fat chance of that after the Chesham and Edward VII and not exactly smart given the clear evidence of the area sustaining restaurants now.

    On another note entirely Hayden Wylds is doing an amazing job of bringing artists in. Last week they had Courtney Love and today they had Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals doing his new solo album on acoustic. I’m particularly gutted about the latter as they were one of my favourite bands for a number of years.

  293. Wow – sounds like Hayden Wylds is pulling up some big names up the LCR! St John at Hackney Church is also fast becoming a must go to gig venue, although probably a bit more ambient (for lack of a better word). Ryuichi Sakamoto played there earlier this year, and Julia Holter and Laurel Halo from the States and Wolfgang Voigt from Cologne are lined up, amongst others over the coming months.

  294. I managed to squeeze into the Courtney Love shindig – utterly surreal to see my teenage idol and famous face puffing on fags with the 253 bus tearing past.

    I also went to The Dressing Room salad popup this week. Sounds poncey, and at £40 it’s not cheap (£35 for vegetarians/vegans). But you get six courses of amazingly inventive food – big, generous portions, out of this world flavours, great ambience and a cocktail thrown in too. I think they’re doing a couple of nights a month, so keep any eye on it.

    Bad Denim is set to open soon at 82 LCR. Their website is now live – women’s jeans only for at least the first two seasons:

  295. £475 for a pair of jeans? Well that’s not going to add to concerns about class divide in the area.

  296. To be fair it’s a pair of dungarees 😉
    Those prices are crazy!

  297. Having look again at the original plans for the Cecil, they are only applying to have the smaller unit on Median Road converted to residential, while keeping a 160 square metre ground and basement commercial on LCR itself:

  298. Has anyone been to try out any of LCR’s new businesses yet? I tried Bonneville, Verden and Yardsale last week, and was impressed with all – but particularly Verden and Bonneville.

    I’ve written a blog on Bonneville now, and plan to write up the others over the coming weeks.

  299. Hi yeah hackney team…. We would like to offer you to pop down for a free pizza on us this friday? Let us know if interested….we should have our hand made burgers and buffalo wings also for tasting but we would like you to try our food on us!

  300. I’ve written about Verden:

    and Yard Sale:

    It seems like things have slowed down a tiny bit now on LCR? There’s the shop behind Dreyfus that is changing hands, a vintage Vans shop up by Yoruk, and a handbag shop opening near Wild and Wooly:

  301. The vintage vans shop is The Other Side of the pillow that used to be on Wilton Way

  302. An actual vintage van showroom (old ford transits and British leyland monstrosities) would have been much better. Hey ho, I can now buy a £160 pair of second hand shoes to go with my £500 jeans

  303. Gamze Picture Framers are moving to Lower Clapton Road in 8 days. To number 114 I think. I’ve just come back from their current premises in Clarence Road with my second order of reframed prints and he’s done a lovely job. I struggle to find time to do things like this these days, so I’d really recommend him – being a fellow tradesman.

    He’s just not getting the footfall along Clarence Road, so I hope his business improves once he’s made the short move.

  304. Not much happening recently but I see something’s happening to the shop next to Bad Denim. Hopefully a place I can buy a £250 vest to go with my £500 dungarees and £250 second hand shoes.

    ALso the owner of the Cecil has put it up for sale with planning consent at £1.5 million.

  305. Does anyone know what’s happening on the old used car lot next to the Windsor Castle? Portakabins gone. What looks like some exploratory digging…

  306. Cant be much as they never got planning permission for doing anything with it.

  307. Just spotted some work getting done yesterday at 89 Lower Clapton Road. Well, I think it was 89 – it was pretty rainy and I was in a hurry.

    Emily posted a planning application for a double fronted bakery at 89 – 91 LCR, which looks like it would be a pretty big job.

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