Harris and Hoole is cool(e)!

edited November 2012 in Sharing
STOP PRESS! Sorry about the silly title, but it really is. It opened today, and is fantastic, in every way. No time for more, but I expect I 'll be back.


  • What?  and where?<br>
  • New coffee shop in Crouch End, between Costa and Starbucks. As far as I could see from the bus, Costa was empty, at around 3.00!
  • It's the Tesco one, there's loads about it on the Coffee and empty shops thread
  • <P>Yes, Miss Annie, that's the one. Expecting plenty of discussion, I thought I would start a new thread.</P> <P>One issue will undoubtedly be the Tesco connection. I had a chat with the very pleasant, 'authentic' - sounding owner. Tesco own 40 %, I think he said, but have no say whatsoever in the running of the place. Its style is every bit as thoughtful and independent as it is at the Vagabond, in my view. The coffee is superb. And the staff are carefully trained, and paid more than the average.</P> <P>Has anybody else been there? Give it a try!</P>
  • I think it's 49%. Apparently it was free coffee all day yesterday. The rest of their chain of coffee shops looks perfectly pleasant, I'm sure they'll do well.
  • <P>I thought he said today was day one. And I could have sworn he said 40% - but I could be wrong on both counts. I got a free cappuccino too, by the way. [Not cheap, it must be admitted - the smallest  capp is £2.30].</P> <P>Is it a chain? A very small one, surely? And the issues we discussed were about THIS shop, and he was very keen to get feedback, and to respond to it.</P>
  • The adjective I would use for an Tesco-owned coffee shop is not 'cool'
  • <P>Perhaps so, Nick M. But this is not a Tesco-owned coffee shop. Over 50% is privately owned, is it not? Perhaps this is why the place feels cool. The chap I was speaking to was called Nick, and had a down-under accent. He was surely the person so highly praised in the other thread for stuff he'd done in Brighton. He would fit in in very well at the Vagabond, and it was no surprise to me to discover that they like and admire each other. The coffee care is amazing - even down to the temperature  you prefer!</P> <P>Would we like Vagabond less if we discovered they had taken out a large bank loan to set it up? I dislike capitalism more than most of you, but find it impossible to ignore it. I am naive about money, but perhaps Nick and co are in a similar boat.  They are as 'passionate' about coffee (not keen on that word, but still) as many of us are, but needed funding. Many of you will be buying your home on the back of a massive  mortgage from the bank: is that so very different?</P>
  • 'Passion 'for coffee is misplaced energy IMHO. Try passion for beliefs, for ideas, football, music or lovers. Then tea. Then milk. Then fanta. Then guiness . Then. (maybe)..coffee. Chang
  • <P>Ha ha, very funny, Chang. No, really. And you make a good point. I do like coffee shops, though.</P> <P>BTW: should you have added trolling to your list?</P> <P>Just asking...</P> <P>Carry on...</P>
  • edited November 2012
    <font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">你对我来说没有任何意义</font>
  • Ooh look, 'Chang' is writing in Chinese! I wonder if Tollington Tom could have written that - I bet he could. Anybody can cut and paste. I wonder what it says?
  • edited November 2012
    A Troll by any ither name would smell as ... 没见过 妈妈:“瞧你这手,多脏呀!你什么时侯看到过我的手像你这样脏?” 女儿:“没有,妈妈。我从来没有看到过你像我这么大的时侯
  • edited November 2012
    Like I said on another thread, the terms of Tesco's 40% investment will very likely include rights to buy the whole thing at a pre-determined price if it hits certain targets, and kick-out management if those targets aren't met. They might not have 'day-to-day' control but to all intents and purposes, control sits with them.<div><br></div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Vagabond is two or three blokes working hard. H&H is Tesco. They are as different as a bicycle and a formula one car.</span></div>
  • Chetski is easily charmed by a down under accent and a strong brew. witch prob means when the Walkabout pub opens in Rowens Chetski will be to be founds at the bar smiling. chang
  • <p>The directors of Harris & Hoole are Tesco's company secretary Jonathan Lloyd and project manager Michael Holmes.</p><p>I agree with Andy. It might look pretty but it's still Tesco.</p>
  • Ah well, you win, Miss Annie and Andy. But it's also your loss. Perhaps we'll eventually hear from somebody who has actually tried the new place. Not you two, obviously. And you wouldn't be seen dead in Tesco's or Costa either, would you? Or Sainsbury's. Or Waitrose. Or M&S. Etc, etc. I agree with you, these big capitalist enterprises are horrible. I admire your self-discipline in managing to bypass the lot of them.
  • BTW, Miss Annie - don't you work at Waterstone's? Or have you decided to boycott it, in favour of independent bookshops?
  • edited November 2012
    Hey, Checkski ... maybe it is time to ease-up on petty personal jibes when your opinions gain no traction? It does no credit to you or to your argument.
  • <p>No, I'm afraid I'm still working there. It's 100% privately owned now though and is run as a vanity project by a book loving Russian oligarch, which strangely makes me feel better about it. I have no need to go anywhere to buy books as my house is pretty much made of them, and if I want new ones the publishers are happy to send free copies.</p><p>I don't go to Costa actually or Starbucks or any of those other coffee chains. I also try to avoid Tesco and the other supermarkets. Waitrose I have no problem with as JLP is a very well run partnership. I bypass as many of the big chains as I can. I don't use Amazon either, I shop locally and with small indies wherever possible.</p><p>What makes you think I haven't been to Harris & Hoole? I'm fairly disparaging about all coffee shops. I find the whole idea of sitting about drinking and obssessing about coffee for hours bizarre, I'm too busy for all that. Fabric shops now... that's a horse of a different colour.</p>
  • <P>Why don't YOU express an opinion for once, Joe? You're always there in the wings, with your little digs.</P> <P>As usual, Miss Annie, you paint a rather endearing picture of yourself - not entirely consistent, but sort of pointing in the right direction, if I may say so! So coffee shops are not for you. They are a retirement thing, for me. I hope I don't obsess about the coffee itself, although I like a good one, whatever that might be. A coffee shop for me must have a) armchairs, b) not have loud, foul music, and c) have a congenial ambiente. Then I can unload my bag, and read, write, work, play, daydream, chat, for an hour or two - I love it, especially if the coffee is OK. Needless to say, I am retired, although I do a lot of voluntary music teaching. My current favourite is actually Caffe Nero in Highgate Village. It ticks all those boxes, plus one or two others. Have you got nothing good to say about H and H?  - assuming you have actually been there, you dark horse!  Oh well. See you at the Vagabond then;  it's too loud, crowded, uncomfotable - but delightful, I'm sure you agree. Or do you...?</P> <P>And what do you think, Joe?</P>
  • The subject is pretty thoroughly discussed here. Make your own minds up. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/08/tesco-coffee-shops-harris-hoole.
  • They've bought around 15 old Clinton's cards sites around the country to begin with. Pretty speedy expansion plans.
  • I like capitalism. 
  • Didn't buy anything from there, but popped in today. It was packed. Got to say that it looked like a great space, obviously designed by retailers, and if the coffee is good then it will be a success.<div><br></div><div>I do have an issue with how its come to be though. Tesco get involved in EVERYTHING. Groceries, fuel, finance, electricals, books, CD's.......blah, blah, blah. They are an incredibly sucessful company and in some ways i feel they should be encouraged as a British flagship business. However, coffee.........someone has decided that too much is being made outside of Tesco's and they want a slice. The brand has no gravitas in coffee world so all they do is employ an agency to come up with a coffee shop concept and its Tesco coffee shops.....but not as we know it. I get checkski's point about how it's all financed, but ultimately this is yet ANOTHER pound from your purse going to the UK's number 1 retailer (all be it a percentage). I think it's a all a bit cynical, but then again.......its just them doing well. It's confusing.</div>
  • <P>I'm surprised you didn't try the coffee, Brodie. All argument would momentarily have ceased. Elixir.</P> <P>@andy. I'm sure the feeling's mutual.</P>
  • <P>@BrodieJ: to get cheap prices and everyone to shop with them, they also screw their suppliers royally, which is a bad thing</P> <P>Have you been to coffee circus, Checkski? They also do excellent coffee in Crouch End, worth a try.</P>
  • <P>Yes, indeed, Nick M. Once, not long after they opened. Coffee fine, ambiance less good, a mon avis humble. So I haven't been back. A VERY reliable informant tells me the coffee went downhill, and there was also some rudeness in the mix, with a second, subsequent staff team. I think he said the staff changed again after that, but by then he'd lost interest.</P> <P>What do you think? Is your thumbs-up for today, or for the past?</P>
  • Went to coffee circus yesterday - would definitely recommend it.
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