Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Tatty Shops

If you have been around Archway recently you will not have failed to notice some of the changes underway.  The tower is shrouded in white, Hamlyn House is well on it's way to becoming a Premier Inn, even McDonalds is having a refurb.

Exciting times indeed for Archway! But it is irksome to have Archway's time in the spotlight spoiled by the pervasive preoccupation with how the property prices are "set to soar"  - a recent article in the Evening Standard's Homes & Property proffered plenty of put downs and like a protective parent I feel compelled to shield the Archway I know and love from the insults it is having to put up with, while surrendering itself to this period of change......Archway "can boast nothing more than a line of tatty shops at its heart" - is not only offensive to those who run businesses on Archway Close but also factually and metaphorically totally inaccurate.  

Let's take a look at some of those "tatty shops",  there's Second Chance which is a charity shop famous for inventive window displays (owned by the adjacent church, also in the "line" - the historic Methodist Hall), It has recently had a refurb as part of Islington's shop front scheme.  

Another shop to benefit from this scheme is Resurrection Boutique at no 3 in the "line" - the subject of a recent project called "Makers of Archway",  take a look at this mini film about it's proprietress Yuksel.

There's the dynamic Dowe Gym a solicitors and the restaurant at number 10 is about to reopen as 'Leafy Greens & Coffee Beans'........

.....and then there's 'The Gate'  - formerly the 'Tollgate' the "tatty shop" at number 6, with it's lovingly preserved beautiful original glass signage.

So if this is Archway's "heart".......then pulsing along the arteries are a whole host of other shops, businesses and eateries that Archway can boast about surely? The award winning Archway Kebabs - Officially the best takeaway in London, St Johns Tavern with it's majestic dining room and historically restored exterior, The stylish Oak & Pastor, the laid back Hideaway, The Charlotte Despard, Bread & Bean, our new neighbours Deli Junction the list could go on and on with any number of successful and useful shops both long-standing and new in between, offering this community much more than great service. We are genuinely proud to have been voted Archway's best independent shop in the Time Out Love London awards last November, we are in good company! 

According to the same article managing director of estate agent Whitehalls says "the area’s reputation as a rather shabby place to live will be hard to sweep away.  He suggests it should follow in the footsteps of Staines, now renamed Staines-upon-Thames, and call itself Whitehall Park in honour of the conservation area close to Highgate, where Archway’s smartest houses and highest prices can be found"

Did he really say that? For those of us who have been here 22 years (it still makes me smile to remember the guy who gave us 6 months when we were setting up shop), we have heard all this before - It is only the estate agents who are perpetuating the nonsense of needing a re-brand, Lower Highgate, slopes & borders, St John's triangle FFS here's a novel idea - why not reappropriate the area as Archway? 

Actually Archway can boast about a lot more than a line of tatty shops at its heart, it's still a place with soul!

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