Work underway at Clapham Junction’s new branch of Heidi

After quite some time sitting empty, the builders are definitely busy at the former Valentina (opposite Pizza Express on Lavender Hill).  It’s set to become the second branch of Heidi, a wine / brunch / cocktail bar whose generally well reviewed first branch is in Balham.  Fairly unusually for the area, Heidi plans to be child free at all times with an over-18s only policy – which will of course chop out some of the market, but which they reckon will make it more of a haven for adults wanting to escape children for a while!

It’s good to see this prominent corner property coming back in use, as it’s been looking a bit sad and run down in recent months (although the increasingly overgrown patio did become quite the wildlife haven for a while). We’ve not yet seen if they plan to use the unusually large basement area – it wasn’t too useful to Valentina but somewhere that’s more of a bar in the evenings might be able to make the most of it by expanding downwards.

Back when it opened Valentina raised the bar on quality and were a breath of fresh air for the area.  They really cleaned up the building and made good use of the outside space that had been completely ignored by the not-much-missed previous tenant Big Fat Panda.  Sadly the chain expanded far too quickly (we understand that of over a dozen branches, this was one of a small handful that ever turned a consistent profit) – and as the debts became too much to bear both food and service standards suffered.  Hopefully Heidi will be able to make a good new start.

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