What's happening on the High Road
Independents make a come back as chains in retreat
After a few years in which every new shop in Chiswick was either an estate agent or selling mobile phones or coffee, recently there have been much more encouraging trends.
After Sacha Hemen's brought us the innovative Floatopia on Devonshire Road (see picture right), a new mother and baby store - Joy Maternity has opened at the end of the street closest to the High Road. A delicatessen will be moving into the old premises of Hand Made Tiles.
Along with the new kitchen utensil shop, Whisk, opened up by Tracy and Simon Griffiths, Devonshire Road is likely to see something of a renaissance as empty properties at the top end discouraged some people walking up what is arguably Chiswick's best shopping street. Sadly, the future of Asai's Tailors seems to be in doubt with the lease on the shop currently on offer.
On the High Road (Un)happy Spirits didn't manage to get off the ground on the former Cafe Coco site - like the ill-fated Creative Lobster before it, but next door, according to Andrew Clark of Whitman and Co. Commercial, the old Flute baggage shop is to become another Chinese medicine shop - Dr. China - giving some competition to the newly opened store on Turnham Green Terrace.
However there are concerns about the future of traditional Greek restaurant, Kleftiko. The restaurant is one of Chiswick's longest established having been previously much further down the High Road at the Caffe Uno site. An agent is 'confidentially' advertising the availability of the lease on the site with full vacant possession. The area recently saw the closure of le Parisien, which was replaced by restaurant wine bar, Libation (see picture right.)
There was a disappointment for local book buyers with the appearance of a baillif's notive outside the Bookcase suggesting the store may be in danger of closure. The shop didn't offer the range of Waterstones but it usually provided the opportunity to find some great bargains.
A new restaurant is likely to be opened eventually in front of the Barley Mow Office complex. Council planners are recommending approval for a building on the site which is currently derelict.
At the top end of the High Road, a planning application has been lodged to convert Adelaide House into a 118 room hotel It would be on the north side of Chiswick High Road, between Power Road and Thorney Hedge Road.
Further afield there are reports that Fauconberg Road's Coyote Cafe is looking to expand into Acton taking over the site of Lehanes on Churchfield Road.
August 29, 2004