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New coffee shop in Forest Hill
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Posts: 425
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #1
14-10-2007 11:30 PM

Posts from old forum ...

Joined 09-02-2007
Posted on Monday, 24 September, 2007 - 02:54 pm:

Noticed there's been work going on at the old Organic Republic shop - asked the bloke inside today, and he tells me he's opening a coffee shop there in about a month or two.

Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Monday, 24 September, 2007 - 03:45 pm:

If it happens then great news.

The Organic Rep was not customer friendly. Not open Sunday morning . Also other times when should have been open was not

Joined 20-09-2007
Posted on Monday, 24 September, 2007 - 04:33 pm:

Yes, our prayers are finally answered!
We all should support this venture as much as possible.

Joined 20-08-2007
Posted on Monday, 24 September, 2007 - 09:31 pm:

This is brilliant news!
The attempt of the Capitol to build a coffee area by the entrance is admirable, but it really doesn't have the atmosphere and felt really like... well... a cinema.

Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 25 September, 2007 - 12:55 pm:

It is a great pity about The Capitol Coffee Area
Many of the staff do there best but need a separate area for drinkers on the side( already exists but most drinkers parade through coffee area. Also cannot believe new drinking laws. They are serving alcohol at 9am on Sunday. Hard to believe anyone would want to drink until after midday.

Joined 07-12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 25 September, 2007 - 10:32 pm:

'Not until the sun has touched the yardarm'! they used to say. Maybe some of us are now confusing the yardarm and the bowsprit?

Joined 07-06-2006
Posted on Thursday, 27 September, 2007 - 11:43 am:

Great news about the coffee shop. I look forward to this (as someone who works form home in SE23 especially).

If anyone speaks to the owner, please encourage them to join in here (it did the Honor Oak a lot of good) so we can find out plans and maybe have some input as well.

Joined 11-06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 09 October, 2007 - 06:18 pm:

The sign is up and is called 'The Lemon Grove'.

Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 01:16 pm:

Still looks a long way from opening. I will certainly give it a try.
Trust , unlike the other shop , will open Sunday morning
Also seats in the other shop looked far to regimented. Hope they have revamped these

Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 05:42 pm:

With a continental housing development (Forest Hill Centraal) can we have a Dutch coffee Shop please, oh and we could get the canal restored whilst we were at it, flatten the hill...

Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 06:25 pm:

Hopefully pram and pushchair friendly....

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Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #2
Question  18-10-2007 03:31 PM

Any more news about 'The Lemon Grove'?

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Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #3
18-10-2007 04:35 PM

Maybe we should drop one of the Forest Hill Society Newsletter and a note about the existence of this wonderful forum through their letter box. It is incredible how much support we all showed to the Thai Orchard and The Honor Oak because their proprietors kept us informed about their new business here. In Sydenham a new Blue Mountain Cafe is about to open and another coffee shop has just been refurbished and opened recently. See here:

I am jealous.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
18-10-2007 08:26 PM

Personally whilst I welcome choice I wonder whether this market is becoming saturated. I am not sure what market exists for more coffee shops when there are so many pubs selling such good coffee. The nature of pubs in Forest Hill are changing so much due to the smoke free legislation. The BLue Mountain chain on the other hand has such good food that it may have a niche of its own. Its a pity they did not find success in Forest Hill.

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Posts: 3,261
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
05-12-2013 10:56 AM

Picking up on an old thread, I'm sure others will remember back in 2007 - when house prices were going through the roof, and the roof on the swimming pool was coming down - and somebody had the idea of opening a coffee shop in Forest Hill.

Despite concerns about too much coffee being made available, the opening of the Lemon Grove (now The Butchery) was followed by Toureg (now the Teapot), From the Forest, St Davids, Canvas and Creme, Aga's Little Deli, Two Brothers/The Gym, the new cafe at the pool, and the seasonal cafe in the Horniman Triangle (as well as the one in the museum, and On the Hoof which were already established in 2007).

And now Baggydave's prediction of a coffee shop on the other side of the station (next to Finches) looks like it is not far away. Whether it will serve Dutch coffee is not clear at this time.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #6
05-12-2013 03:06 PM

I've had the pleasure of frequenting our coffee shops and restaurants a lot recently - I work from home but currently have a house full of builders. I've been spending a few hours each day in either Canvas and Cream or St David Coffee House. Each is well used by people like me with laptops and a serious coffee habit, and most then stay for lunch too! Canvas and Cream also attracts plenty of parents with small (buggy-bound) children, and people meeting friends for lunch. It is very busy at lunchtimes, even on a Monday. There is clearly a market for these establishments, possibly catering for a demographic that didn't exist in large numbers in Forest Hill back in 2007 when this thread started. It's been a pleasure for me to have these places to retreat to and I'll continue to go after the builders have gone (although not as often, as the budget and my waistline are suffering).

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Posts: 3,261
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
07-01-2014 02:56 PM

Has anybody tried the new coffee shop in Perry Vale?
Please tell us all about it.

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Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #8
08-01-2014 12:29 PM

What new coffee shop in Perry Vale?

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Posts: 3,261
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
08-01-2014 12:46 PM

Next to Finches. Directly opposite the station exit.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #10
08-01-2014 02:17 PM

I haven't been in it, but it doesn't look like a 'coffee shop' in the chi-chi sense of the word, more of a 'caff' or sandwich shop. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I think 'coffee shop' may not be quite the right description.

This post was last modified: 08-01-2014 02:25 PM by rshdunlop.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
10-01-2014 09:24 AM

Does this Coffee Shop/Caff/Sandwich Shop have a name?

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Posts: 371
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #12
10-01-2014 06:33 PM

I hadn't realised it was now open and wouldn't have known if Michael hadn't posted about it. I only see that unit in the evenings when exiting the station from platform 2 and the shop is shut at that time.

Unfortunately the owner of the unit installed solid security shutters and not open-grille shutters, contrary to Lewisham's Shopfront Design Guide (pages 11 and 12 - ) But shop owners are either unaware of the guidelines or ignore them.

Shops with 'closed' shutters are a particular bug-bear of mine. Many people pass their local shops when they're commuting to/from work and the shops are shut. If they can't see in the window when the shop is closed then they can't see what it sells and what it's opening hours are, and are less likely to use the shop (eg on a Saturday).

If any local shopkeepers are reading (P1971?) could you put the word out among other local traders that grille shutters are beneficial in getting potential customers?

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #13
10-01-2014 09:20 PM

Blushingsnail not a problem, I'll let others know.

I choose not to have shutters, but have anti-terrorist shatter-resistant film on all my glass frontage, this basically means that if anyone smashed my windows the shattered glass would stay in place and would make it very difficult and take quite a long time for anyone to actually get in to the shop. This also gives me peace of mind knowing that my customers would be safe inside if a freak accident happened while opened.

Believe it or not this is actually cheaper than installing shutters, I'd strongly recommend it to all new shopkeepers.

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Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #14
13-01-2014 01:39 PM

We have been trying to get shop owners to use this film for ages. 3m make one, it's used in many buildings and they even do a bomb proof one.

There is also an anti graffiti film which is used on the underground. It has various layers (similar to the visor film they have on F1 cars) and peels off if it gets scratched or tagged.

We got quotes of about 60perm2 installed for the films, which is a lot less than security grills.

Security grills are around 1400-1600 for a 5.5m wide shop front. I've seen cheap ones installed, but I've also seen them fail. We looked into insurance, not all security shutters are insurance approved, even insurance approved ones don't make a difference to most shops insurance premiums (which is surprising).

What is even more surprising, is that it can actually cost more as some insurers ask for a separate insurance for security shutters in the even that they fail (one shop installed a cheap one, the gearbox failed and it slammed shut, narrowly missing a shoppers 5 year old daughter). Sometimes they refuse to open. They often go wrong and are expensive to fix and need maintenance and repair.

We work on a lot of high street schemes. One question we often ask is how many times a shops glass has been broken in the last 5 years. It's not as often in many cases as many people think (but it varies). Glass isn't that expensive. Billings window in Sydenham was about 500.

Unfortunately, there isn't much policing of shop fronts guidelines and planning and little enforcement. There just aren't the officers at the council to do the work. As such, arguably, planning doesn't really work for shop fronts and signage. We think there is a better way and put enforcement and communication in the hands of the local community, to work with shops and build individual communities with locally based planning incentives.

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Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #15
13-01-2014 03:48 PM

Regarding the cafe: I went there over the weekend - really nice coffee, and okay sandwiches but the interior is stark and quite uninviting.

The owner (or chap who worked there) said its been a rough week - he watches lots of people go past every morning but no one comes in. He wondered if people in Forest Hill like coffee.

He was very friendly though, and gave my son a chocolate as we left, so he is (or at least was for Saturday afternoon) my son's best friend.

I don't catch the train that often, but when I do its quite often from Platform 2, so I'll be popping in to see him for my morning coffee from now on (as long he's still there).

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Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #16
13-01-2014 09:07 PM

Unfortunately I would give the cafe 6 months only - walk past it every day and it's always empty. Agreed that it looks stark and uninviting. The coffee shops on the other side of the railway line have upped the ante, I just don't think that the place cuts the mustard now. Survival of the fittest and all that. The guy that runs/owns it is part of the family that runs Sabah's kebab shop down on Perry Vale. Lovely family and part of the community down here (where I live). Wish them all the best but I just don't think so....

This post was last modified: 13-01-2014 09:08 PM by Tomcat.

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Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2009
Post: #17
14-01-2014 12:03 PM

I am afraid I agree with the other comments. On a personal level for the owner, it's sad to hear that he says he's struggling but he needs to walk around Forest Hill to see what he's competing with and see the brilliant offerings and atmosphere created by the likes of Canvas & Cream; St.Davids and From the Forest. Perhaps he's catering to a different market but if he's charging 2 for a coffee then not all that different. It's a shame as it's a perfect location on the way to the station.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #18
14-01-2014 12:26 PM

Agree 100% and I hope someone can direct the new owner to these comments. That cafe is in a perfect spot to catch users of platform 2, and if I were him, I'd concentrate on catching that passing trade. Get a nice A-frame blackboard outside the shop to let people know he does great coffees. Do a good line in nice breakfasty things to take away - croissants, muffins, bananas. Then take out sandwiches from mid-morning, especially hot ones (paninis, toasties etc) to catch the off-peak commuters. If I have a lunchtime meeting at Victoria, you can bet your bottom dollar I'd go to a cafe like that to get something nice for lunch to eat on the train.

And yes, get rid of the shutters and make sure you have information in your window that lets the evening commuters know what you could be offering them the next morning.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #19
14-01-2014 11:03 PM

We are all struggling at the moment. I took 41 today, that only covers my costs for the day not taking the cost of goods in to account. This is the reality for us small independant shops that make the High Street look good in SE23. Like I have said before I could hold off until Christmas with the Horniman Market starting, but not sure how long I can go for now. I've Cut my girls hours down a lot, so I'll see what happens from now on. If you don't shop in your fav shops don't expect to see them tomorrow.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
14-01-2014 11:19 PM

Sorry to be so cut and dry here, but I think honesty is the best policy.

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