Normally, if I write about closures it would be in relation to what stopper you'll find on a bottle of wine (check out my wine blog here if that kind of thing interests you) but in relation to Forest Hill it mainly concerns shops.
Forest Hill has yet to become a destination for trendy shoppers although we do already have several very cool places to shop for clothes in particular - check our Bunka, Mayo Maker and Oliver London). However, these are the few gems in a pretty rough shopping desert.
The most regular occurence is that a shop closes - such as our (in)famous condom and tattoo shop (no demand) or, most recently, Mercury Electrical (old fashioned).
I was quite excited, therefore, when I noticed two shops being refitted as I walked around different parts of Forest Hill recently. Both are quite small and in very different shopping areas of town, but I had high hopes for them.
The first to open was a Polish Delicatessen. Excellent! I do not profess to be knowledgeable about Polish delicacies, but that is the point - here is something new and exciting to try. The couple who have opened Jagiello's have big plans for offering coffee and meats (Polish sausages coming soon) as well as the packaged foods they already have from a distant corner of our expanded European Union. I don't think they have a website yet, but you can find them on the short stretch of the South Circular labelled Sunderland Road. More on Polish influences in Forest Hill soon.
The second, yet to open but with a sign up already, was a whole lot less exciting. Peering through the window I saw chiller cabinets and shelves and I had a silent prayer (to a non-existent deity) it might turn out to be a butcher. It is on Perry Vale just before the back entrance to the station. All hopes were dashed though when the sign went up announcing "Indian Take Away" (no name). How could we possibly need another take away in Forest Hill? I'd love to know how many of these businesses actually survive longer than a year, and quite how much money is wasted setting them up. Surely someone must consider the existing market and demand before setting up a business? We are regularly inundated with menus through the letter box and they all go in the bin (we already have our favourites, thanks).
There are plenty more shop premises in Forest Hill, and a quite affluent, and motivated potential customer base. If you are looking for a place to establish a new business, check us out, but if you are planning an Indian take-away or Fried Chicken joint PLEASE try somewhere else.