As the Lavender Hill Christmas lights go up, it’s time for another of our occasional updates on retail comings and goings in the Lavender Hill area. It’s been a busy few months since our last update on the topic, with plenty of new arrivals, and a couple fo sad departures.
First up: At the very eastern end of the street up on the Wandsworth Road, the big and beautiful corner unit that was home to Sinclair Till’s collection of fabrics and furnishings (until they moved to Chelsea) is set to become a new branch of Remedy Kitchen, with works already underway. Remedy Kitchen specialises in food that’s fast but also fresh, colourful and healthy – with a keen eye to the environmental impact of the business. Owner Fadi Chafi founded the business in 2020, as a delivery-only kitchen based in the huge complex of kitchens opposite Battersea Heliport, before expanding to open an actual branch open to the public on Haverstock Hill near Belsize Park the following year. It’s been a success – being shortlisted by Deliveroo for a ‘best newcomer of the year’ award, and Fadi is now returning to Battersea in a bigger way with an actual branch.
There’s sadder news at the Queens Arms, which we reported on a good few times as it went from empty premises back to being an actual pub: the lease is now for sale. It’s slightly out of the way but as a rare ‘proper’ pub in this part of Battersea, hopefully this can find a new landlord.
Wild for Dogs has opened at 4 Lavender Hill, next door to Sendero. It’s a small business specialising in organic, vegan and cruelty-free grooming products for dogs, which all started when founder Laura Sarao was shocked by the ingredients and quality of the products available for her new puppy. As a specialist local business Wild for Dogs has a full website and offers delivery around the UK, but where visitors and shoppers are also very welcome at the branch.
There’s a cluster of new hairdressers at the eastern end of the road. E Street Barbers SW have opened at 26 Lavender Hill and seems to be quickly picking up a loyal following. It’s a new venture by owner Jack, who has set up south of the river after six years of working at E Street Barbers’ sister branch in Hackney (with experience of working in other haidressing businesses before that as well).
He’s continued the Clapton approach of simplicity and style, adding to the growing cluster of traditional mens’ barbers on Lavender Hill including very long-estabished local barbers Froud & Co, and London Barnet barbers opposite. The east end of Lavender Hill has clearly become the place for independent hairdressers – which typically migrate here to avoid the much higher rent in the units closer to Clapham Junction, and which have plenty of local demand as you can’t get your hair cut on the internet. Jack’s happy to take walk-in customers.
Koop Studio took over the old LHP Lavender plumbing shop (after they moved to a new premises just around the corner on Lavender Hill last year), with a slightly different business model focussed on being a studio workspace that rents chairs to a wide range of creative stylists in a smart and minimalist space.
And sticking with the theme of hairdressing, Glamhair Studio has just opened at 15 Lavender Hill, on the spot that used to be a William Hill betting shop next the steep bit of Wix’s lane, which was one of three William Hills on the street to close following a major clampdown on betting regulations.
It took quite a while for this unit to be re-let (we know a good few people looked at it along the way). It’s a surprisingly large shop, and like many of the shop units it also has a basement – albeit one that is unfortunately only accessible by a hatch, so which isn’t of much use; we were slightly surprised that it wasn’t developed like many of the other nearby shops to introduce a staircase and move the ‘back of house’ downstairs, and increase the available space.
Now that it’s back in business the old betting shop has scrubbed up quite well! It certainly looks a lot smarter than it did in the final years of being a William Hill.
Firezza at 40 Lavender Hill may have a bit of disruption ahead, as the landlord has asked for planning permission to convert half of the ground floor (where the pizza oven is) and most of the basement in to a flat, leaving a much smaller shop unit with that would no longer really work as a takeaway. It’s a long established takeaway so we hope that if these plans do materialise, they are able to relocate in the area.
A few doors down from Firezza, two of the smallest shopfronts ever created on the street – where most of a unit was converted to a flat, leaving very small shop facing the street – have both found tenants. Ryan and Dan clinical massage have opened at 36 Lavender Hill. They’re very clear that this isn’t a traditional massage parlour aimed at a ‘quick rub down’ but is instead aimed at accessible and affordable treatments, particularly for those who suffer chronic/acute muscle pains and tensions, and to ease sports injuries. The co-owners are keen to change the narrative of what massage parlours and clinics currently provide, and open it up to a wider customer base in terms of ages and backgrounds who could benefit from treatments to ease their muscles. This is reflected in the more clinical and business-like design of the premises, which is quite different to the more typical styling of a massage business.
The other unit (also at 36 Lavender Hill) was even smaller as it didn’t have a basement – however is now home to Lavender Florist, the first flower shop on the street with a wide range of flowers and decorative items, who are also selling Bouquets as well as Christmas trees to order.
On the food & drink front, China Garden has slowly been taking shape at 103a Lavender hill, bringing a second Chinese takeaway to Lavender Hill following the retirement of Mr Liu who used to trade a few doors down the road a few years ago. The building works here have been quite extensive, including a full refit of the premises. This isn’t a completely new business, as we understand it’s linked to an existing takeaway – Bugatti Pizzeria – on Battersea park Road. It’s hard to say when they will open as work has been slow, but it looks as though it may not be long now.
In a good news development, the increasingly scruffy shopfront at 128 Lavender Hill that was an E-cigarette store – pictured above – is having a proper makeover, and is set to become the latest branch of the Little Dessert Shop, serving artisanal waffles, crepes, coffee, cheesecakes, cookie dough & Italian gelato. They have lots of branches in the Birmingham area and a decent handful further north in Manchester, but only a scattering in London – the nearest is in Balham.
It’s not all good news on this stretch of the street though, as El Patio seems to have suddenly closed, with a landlord notice stuck to the doors – so sudden that large hams are still hanging in the window and there’s a full wall of wine and spirits still in place.
Meanwhile work carries on, slowly, at Donna Margherita, pictured above, which we have written about a few weeks ago – who are on the long road to recovery after an unfortunate kitchen fire. It’s still not completely clear who is taking over but most of the new material needed to reopen is now in place, including pictures on the walls and tables and chairs, so while it does look more like a building site than a restaurant at the moment we’re optimistic that this should be springing back in to life fairly soon.
Further along – Thermomix opened up close to the station, as we have reported previously, bringing a new life to what had been The Corner Stone Christian bookstore. Work’s also underway to create an as-yet-unknown new business in the shop that used to be the KV Cars minicab office at 129A Lavender Hill, which had been looking rather sad for some time after they closed the office, and something is emerging at 97 Lavender Hill, a shop right next to the way ion to Battersea Business centre that had rather briefly been a showroom for The Liberty, a maker of bespoke fitted furniture.
And finally, speaking of furniture, Kennington-based Burnt Furniture are opening what e believe is a pop-up store at 125 Lavender Hill. As the name suggests, they specialise in up-cycling furniture using wood burning techniques, using a Yakisugi burning technique. This looks quite interesting, with funky colours & various one-of-a-kind statement pieces. All in all – despite stories of struggling high streets around the country, Lavender Hill is holding up quite well. It’s encouraging to see so many new businesses take the plunge, and as we always say, if you live locally do make sure you visit all our new independent traders.
Retail roundups are an occasional series on traders in and near Lavender Hill, in Battersea, London. If this is of interest, do look at our other articles on local business, on retail,or on local food and drink.