Muted excitement as Lidl opens its new store on Tottenham Court Road

Front of supermarket.

There was somewhat muted excitement for shoppers this morning as German supermarket chain Lidl opened its first central London store on Tottenham Court Road, during a pandemic. Normally I'd be thrilled about the opening of a new food store close to home but shopping has lost much of its pleasure and become one of the …

A Philadelphia-themed diner and bar on Cleveland Street is adapting to change to continue trading

Man standing in front of shop.

While most hot food businesses have shut up shop due to the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown others are adapting and delivering a new service. One such business is Passyunk Avenue on Cleveland Street -- a Philadelphia-themed food, cheese steak, and dive bar named after a thoroughfare running diagonally through the dense network of downtown …

Proprietors of historic pub on Hanway Street launch crowdfunder to re-open after lockdown

Front of public house in street.

Tenants of one of the smallest and most well-loved pubs in Fitzrovia are appealing for funds from its customers to enable it to re-open when social distancing measures are relaxed and London returns to some sort of normality, whenever that may be. Bradley's Spanish Bar, tucked away off Oxford Street in the tiny single-track lane …

Independent cycle shops beat the corporate giants by continuing to serve customers

Cycle shop frontage.

Fitzrovia's two independent cycle shops are beating the large chain stores by continuing to provide a service for customers during difficult circumstances. Under new legislation cycle shops along with food shops are allowed to continue to trade as long as they follow strict social distancing guidelines to protect their customers and staff from the coronavirus. …

New Journal Enterprises puts all its printed newspapers online

Front page of CNJ.

The publisher of the Camden New Journal, Westminster Extra, and the Islington Tribune is now putting the entire contents of the three printed, weekly newspapers online to read and download. Since last week New Journal Enterprises have produced an identical e-edition of their three local papers published on the same day as the printed editions, …

Mouth-wateringly good, baked comfort food to take away on Warren Street

Shopfront.

By Stephen Heath For those struggling for a glimmer of cheer in these grim times, I do recommend a brisk walk (or two) up to Shaheen Peerbhai's Miel Bakery on Warren Street. Unlike its now boarded up neighbour, our other favourite foodie haunt, the iconic Honey & Spice, it is still open and offering a limited …

Fitzrovia business owner says high rents and rates, and Crossrail delay, is putting her business at risk

Man and woman talking in shop.

A Fitzrovia shop owner appeared on BBC's Inside Out London programme this week to explain how the delay in the opening of Crossrail is affecting her business. Rowena Howie told BBC reporter Tom Edwards that she opened her shop Revival Retro in Fitzrovia in the hope that her business would benefit from the opening of …

Lidl to open its first central London store on Tottenham Court Road

Front of shop.

German supermarket chain Lidl has announced it will open its first central London store on Tottenham Court Road next summer. Lidl will takeover and refurbish the Sainsbury’s store near Warren Street tube station, reports the Guardian and other media. It will be a full-sized Lidl store with a 1,300m2 shop floor, selling its full range …

The estate agent known as ‘King of the Showrooms’ during rag trade heyday

Irving Howard Brecker is one of the founding partners of the Robert Irving Burns estate agents in Margaret Street. He and his two colleagues set up the business in 1962.  Irving Howard Brecker has been working as an estate agent in Fitzrovia since 1962. “Great Portland Estates had just sold off all their residential properties …

Tottenham Court Road strip club benefits OAPs in northwest England

Frontage to night club.

A lap dancing club in Tottenham Court Road is helping out pensioners in northwest England, according to a licence application submitted to Camden Council in October. The application to renew a sexual entertainment licence for Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club states that Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council is the landlord of the premises. Chair of …

West End group seeks an expanded business improvement district

Map of BID.

The business group which represents the largest retail and leisure companies in the Oxford Street and Regent Street area is holding a ballot on an expanded business improvement district (BID). The New West End Company works in a public-private partnership with Westminster Council and provides business services and lobbies on behalf of its members. It …

Travel group to reveal new plans for hotel on Newman Street

Front of building.

Plans for a new hotel in Fitzrovia will be unveiled at a public exhibition at the site on Newman Street next week. Travel and leisure group Leeu Collection will shortly be submitting a planning application to Westminster City Council to redevelop 50-57 Newman Street. The site was at one time a post office but its last …

Fitzrovia’s biggest business occupiers revealed in list of BID voters

Fitzrovia BID street list.

A list of around 200 of the largest business occupiers in the Camden part of Fitzrovia has been revealed among documents published by The Fitzrovia Partnership business improvement district as part of its five year plan to intensify commercial activity in the neighbourhood. The Fitzrovia 200 list identifies the largest non-domestic ratepayers which will finance …

Fitzrovia Partnership drops plans for cross-boundary business improvement district

Fitzrovia BID map 2017-2022.

The Fitzrovia Partnership has abandoned plans for a cross-boundary business improvement district (BID) but will instead seek to renew its five-year mandate and expand its estate in the Camden part of Fitzrovia this summer. The business group did explore the feasibility of a cross-boundary BID with neighbouring Westminster Council as part of its renewal strategy …

Arup left staff in the dark after deal to sell its offices and relocate

Outside of building.

Staff at Arup's London headquarters were left with a weekend of unnecessary uncertainty about the future of their offices after a surprise announcement was made saying their building had been sold and that they were moving but to an unknown new address. A trilogy of multi-million pound deals involving the global engineering firm and two publicly …

From ‘Take One!’ to bake one, Rebecca takes the biscuit

Woman holding a big cake.

Rebecca Carrigan runs the BlueberryBlue catering and event company from Fitzrovia. Rebecca’s previous job was a film production manager, in the office that produced commercials, TV shows, feature films and the well known Comic Strip series from the 1980s to 1990s. After her daughter was born in 2008 Rebecca wanted a career that did not …

Fitzrovia BID considers ‘tidying up’ its boundaries ahead of renewal vote

Man riding cargo bike.

The Fitzrovia Partnership Business Improvement District is currently reviewing the size of its estate and considering expanding across the borough boundary from Camden into Westminster. The Fitzrovia Partnership BID was established in 2012 in the Camden part of Fitzrovia after 72 businesses voted in favour of it, and despite the resistance from local residents. Members of the BID in premises with …

Rates hike will squeeze Fitzrovia’s small businesses and creative industries

Businesses in Fitzrovia will be hit with a huge increase in bills next year after the government confirmed an increase of business rates in its autumn Statement. Although land values are lower than most of London’s other West End districts, the cost of premises in Fitzrovia has increased at a greater rate and will squeeze …

Wahaca shuts both its Fitzrovia restaurants after suspected norovirus outbreak

Poster in window.

The Mexican street-food chain Wahaca has temporarily closed both of its Fitzrovia restaurants following reports of a norovirus outbreak that has hit many of its outlets across London. The London Evening Standard reported that restaurants in Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, Soho, Canary Wharf and Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, are shut due to what are described as …