Lavender Hill Fish & Chips has had a good run. After taking over a shop that had swung around different takeaway options for years, and never quite managed to stick at any of them, they arrived, gave the unit a comprehensive upgrade, and immediately pulled in the crowds. They opened at the beginning of the pandemic (we wrote about their opening at the time), never the easiest time to start a new business.
Being the only fish & chips shop actually on Lavender Hill, the odds were nonetheless fairly good – but it’s clear that providing a fresh and high quality fish & chips, with good service, is what made the difference. It’s not unusual to see people who’ve come from as far afield as Clapham North and South in the queue.
They always had a slightly chaotic neighbour, in the form of Tennessee Fried Chicken. A chicken shop from the old school, one of South London’s many not-quite-KFCs! When their neighbour did in the end close, the owner decided to take on the lease next door – and open another Lavender Hill business. Not fish and chips this time, but fried chicken and German doner kebabs; it’ll be called Coop.
Cue quite a lot of building works to upgrade the entire unit (which hadn’t seen any real investment for years)). This included creating a full height window on to the street to match what is next door, resurfacing the exterior to remove the tatty old white tiles, improving the power supply, opening it up to create an indoor seating area, and of course installing a brand new grill kitchen and extraction system. It’s not quite finished but when we visited it was all very close to completion.
As official opening day approaches, we have to say it’s looking good – and it’s a major change to what went before. It’s also a real vote of confidence in this end of Lavender Hill. And if their obvious success at making a quality fish & chip restaurant is anything to go by, we suspect they’ll do a quality effort here too, and will draw the crowds.
Coop, at 21 Lavender Hill, SW11 5RW. Opening soon.