Shopfront improvement works

As some of you may know, the Boroughs tapped into some Mayoral funding to subsidise some shop improvement works on Blackstock, Stroud Green, Fonthill and Seven Sisters Rds. Some photos below: Tour 11March2017

I'm afraid I didn't capture the two on SGR, which are Jack's Off Licence and (if I recall the name correctly) Steve's Newsagent opposite the World's End.


  • Interesting! I was wondering why so many seemingly unrelated shops had switched to (for want of a better term) hipster-style shopfronts. I gather they're still mostly the same on the inside.

    Are the councils/the mayor's office mandating this particular artistic style? I could see that being a bit problematic in a way, even if the resultant shopfronts are universally nice-looking.
  • The councils (lead by Islington) commissioned an architect/design firm to help the shops with their plans. They did try to have some universal principles, for instance removing exterior shutters (which, counter-intuitively, demonstrably increase crime and antisocial behaviour), replacing garish neon signs with more tasteful lighting solutions, restoring original plaster moulding, and restoring the original Victorian sign proportions. The specific designs were fundamentally up to the shop-owner, but I agree that you can see a common feel to most of them. To my mind it's a perfect blend of heritage restoration with a modern touch.

    Mostly the same on the inside, but the designers also helped with window displays and, in some case, internal signage. Some shopkeepers have gone the extra mile and spent their own cash on improving the interior decor in line with the exterior.

  • The newsagent used to be called Steve's, but I think now it's The Cabin.
  • edited March 2017
    Back to Steve's again in its latest incarnation.
  • I always thought they were all owned by the same person, who decided to improve them all at the same time... They look really nice IMO.
  • I'm wondering how this could impact business... The chicken shop, for instance, that looks considerably more upscale now than its actual culinary offerings, will it draw the right crowd or confuse people? The different aesthetics are a set of signifyers of the type of shop it is, and forcing it to be conformist (or saying: you get this nice new fresh look as long as you do it according to what we find pleasing) loses a bunch of the diversity and makes things less clear.

    And I mean, do we really want to lose the famous London chicken shop aesthetic (
  • It's merely added to the diversity of comedy chickens. Weirdly, I think it's accurate to say that I'd be more likely to go into that chicken shop now. Yes, I know what that says about me.
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