Eagle Wines traded on Lavender Hill for many years (right next to Kazim’s legendary Cafe Parisienne, home of the all day breakfast for over two decades) – offering a huge range of wines, that were notably more interesting than what was on offer in the big chains. However the business closed a few years ago, after trading for many years, we believe because the owner decided to retire from the business. The future of the premises was a bit of a mystery – but it is now being fitted out as Marhaba, a minimarket selling fresh food and veg, and in a rare return for a trade we’ve not seen on Lavender Hill for some years, a Halal butchers at the rear of the premises. As part of this, the interior has had a substantial refit to insert chiller units, and the outwards-facing shelving characteristic of a place that takes its fruit and vegetables seriously has been built behind the roller shutters.
London’s inner suburbs are famed for the mix of specialists independent food shops, with particularly strong showings of shops selling Turkish, Polish, Middle Eastern and Caribbean products (supplemented by more local clusters such as Stockwell’s strong Portuguese offering) – and these are often known for having better meat & veg than the standard fare at the supermarkets, as well as a more eclectic mix of wider provisions than you’ll find in a typical small supermarket. Lavender Hill hasn’t had an independent greengrocers for years, and has relatively non-chain foodstores in general with our half dozen corner shops focussing primarily on drinks, snacks, dairy, and longer-shelf-life produce and household goods. So it’s a warm welcome to Marhaba, who look set to fill a gap in the market.
Marhaba Freshly Halal Minimarket, 227 Lavender Hill, London SW11 1JR. As of the 12th February, they expect start trading in a couple of weeks.