A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
I agree that the lack of a good place for coffee, deli style snacks, etc is very evident. My son in law has wanted to open a new café in the area for a while - and even tried to get the kebabish premises the last time it came up. I'm pretty sure it was privately owned and the new lease was given to someone of the same community (in fact most of those shops around the tube are owned by the same person). I don't remember all the details as it was a few years ago, but would be surprised it it's anything more than a short lease that's for sale.
We also discussed building something at one of the BPCA meetings - there's a company that puts up very nice original oak structures (very reasonably priced) and I suggested the building could somehow be funded by the community in the space opposite Myddleton gardens. But then there was the question of connecting gas and electricity. Sofiane also looked at some of the vacant properties along Myddleton Road, but as Richard has mentioned, it is currently a big financial risk for one person to take on. If there's any way a premises can be acquired communally, then Sofiane doesn't mind risking his 'labour' - he's Tunisian and has managed cafés before.
Let me know if there's any way I can help with moving this forward as I'm DESPERATE for somewhere decent to go within walking distance. I agree the Front Room in Stroud Green is a very good model for Bounds Green. The owners took a punt that there were a lot of people living in the area that were hiking over the hill to Crouch End to go to a decent cafe and would flock to a good local place if one became available. And they did - I was one of them! But have now moved to BG and v sad there isn't anything here. There is definitely a growing demand, and I agee with others SAIS Cafe doesn't hit the spot.
Agree that we do need something on Myddleton that is near and handy. We used to frequent the cafe that was at the location that is now Ladbrokes, we went on holiday, came back and it had been burnt out!!! Then we moved to what was Mandellie, but the atmosphere started to change there before it closed down - and has reopened as The Green Cafe - has anybody tried it? It does not look that inviting I must admit...
The Lyons shop was open for such a short time I did not get a chance to try it but the frontage of the shop is lovely, and if it had a garden, I am even more saddened that it did not last.
I agree with Diana's idea of a local questionnaire to find out what people want - I think a cafe could provide a great neighbourhood hub but it is all about the funding and the risk... I am not an official BPCA member but happy to help distribute a leaflet if you go that route.
Wow, there seems to be a lot of interest in this idea. Mary-Louise I can totally understand that you miss the Front Room. There's another café in the same road now apparently, so obviously the idea 'took'. I guess it all comes down to money and someone having the courage to start up a café in these difficult times. Maybe a leafletted questionnaire might reveal just how many people would genuinely want and use such a place. Then, if there's enough interest, we could have a meeting to discuss ways and means? There's always the idea of a pop-up café of course. But we'd have to know about the legal aspects etc.