• Grenners and Marko. You have a point. Though I'd say it's the stretch between FP station and Tolling Park that had the butchers' shops. Areas change. And some of the new places are a good addition. It's the plethora of shops, bars etc that I find a bit much. And many of places lack the singularity of what was available in the late 90s. Sometimes, less is more.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    Plethora of shops and bars? I doubt the total number of shops and bars has changed just the type of retailers? I don't know what was around in the late 90s which is being lamented or why people are fearing a pret a manger out bidding a kebab shop at FP station.
  • edited April 2017
    If you don't know why a pret away in a manger is being feared over a kebab shop, all is lost, all is lost. I'm vegetarian so don't really like a kebab shop but I'd prefer a grubby, skewered one over a slick chain that is turning every street into a carbon copy of a copy of a copy, anyday, anyday, anyday. Sorry, I'm on repeat. It's time to let go. All is lost???
  • edited April 2017
    And there were far less eateries on SGR back in the late 90s. Some of them weren't amazing but they had their own individual charm. Now SGR road is an eating-out strip on a par to Upper Street, Islington. If that's your thing, what can I do about it. Commodification over singular charm wins out.
  • grennersgrenners Ferme Park Road, N4
    E Mono is a good kebab shop. I go there occasionally. I get the carbon copy thing. But E Mono might be able to find a new home near by. I'm trying to say a few chains will come but so too will a lot of new independent businesses further along stroud green road or Blackstock following on from the area being populated by people with some money to spend. Some of the existing independent businesses are very low quality and deserve to go. Others like E Mono are rather undeserving.but did E Mono really have a particularly discint identity above generic kebab shop?
  • We have had national chains leave is Wetherspoons although it was am early one before they went national
  • Hi all - for me the sad thing is not necessarily that E Mono is amazing (although I admit I think it's way better than the run-of-the-mill kebab shops along the rest of SGR) but that they lost out on keeping their long-term premises because of redevelopment which is supposed to be improving station facilities. It sucks that the project to provide new lifts at the station has inexorably led to a popular and profitable local business being replaced by a boring chain. This article from before they moved out of the arch premises shows that this is exactly what people were afraid of - that it has come to pass now means I'm personally going to boycott Pret as a minor protest...
  • If you enjoy overpriced sugary milkshake with a bit of low caffeine, burnt coffee chucked in then i salute you, much better then a family run business.
  • I think that the restoration and waterproofing of the arches containing the shops is technically separate from the step-free works.

    In the end, it's hard to blame Network Rail for maximising their income - they presumably have a statutory duty to do so.
  • _Bee_Bee Stroud Green Road
    I just noticed that the arch on the opposite side of the bridge has opened as a coffee shop. AND it looks to be operated by the man who previously ran that coffee space! Looks much cleaner and spiffed up, and I remember his coffee was cheap... will need to make a visit
  • Yep other than Pret the previous occupiers have returned to the arches.
  • Happy to have the off-licence there in the arch next to Pret, the one inside the station is a bit unpleasant, overpriced and with staff that can be rude at times.

    Does anyone know what the Irish connection is, though? They have a huge rack of regional Irish newspapers outside and even more inside the shop.
  • The newsagent next to the chippy on Tollington Park has all the Irish regional papers too. There is still a very sizeable Irish population, on the Islington side at least.
  • @Thirdeariespace I asked exactly that on its first day! Has the shop been open previously, if elsewhere? The guy behind the counter said that there was a large community of "older" Irish who are very partial to their newspapers which is why they cater for them.
  • St Mellitus Church used to to be the Irish Chaplaincy in London (eventually moved to Camden), running welfare services for Irish immigrants as well as support for Irish prisoners and for the traveller community. Not sure about the Haringey side, but as Miss Annie pointed out, the Irish community on the Islington side is still very sizeable.
  • There used to be an Irish House to help Irish people struggling on SGR near Perth Road on that side of the street.

    Have a look at the side of the house on the corner of Perth Road and SGR on the FF side of the street and see the Irish Shamrock detail on the building.

  • Is that what that's about!
  • I always thought that was something to do with the Girl Guide association. Every day's a school day.
  • Hi,

    I am raising awareness regarding Pret A Manger.

    Pret's food is not handmade, it is “assembled” in tiny/cramped kitchens from ready cooked products and ingredients delivered from factories that are as “fresh” as if we would go shopping from a grocery store with products and use by dates.

    I worked in Pret A Manger and survived being bullied during bereavement. I am raising awareness on how it is behind the scenes. I know how non-caring Pret is. Not labelling before and even after the first death is very shocking, but not surprising.

    Clive Schlee, Pret's CEO labelled me late night girl patronizing me. My story is like out of a Hollywood film, but it's true and I have a lot of written evidence.

    I am "shadow banned" on Twitter ( @LateNightGirlMe) which is a secret censorship Twitter denies doing to protect big companies and political views.

    Staff have 1 minute to serve customers or they lose bonus, get told off later n the office etc. Pret is very very different behind the scenes!

    My ordeal in Pret is on a mindmap as an overview:

    Other staff reviews / complaints:

    Undercover report sparked by my blog:

    Kind regards,

  • I'm sorry to hear you had a bad time.

    For balance, my friend works at Finsbury Park Pret, after working for them for years, and loves it. The staff always seem pretty cheery in Pret.
  • Thank you miss annie for your kind words. Yes, not all Prets are terrible, and it depends a lot on what your position is. Once you are a Team Leader, like I was, the pressure to "be like" your manager is immense. In other words, many managers like to sit in the office, look important, aren't trained properly, shout etc. I worked with over a dozen in 10 years, only 2 managers were good. As a Team Leader you have huge work load and work like a manager.

    Once I was bereaved I became an inconvenience and was met with a toxic HR dept. One assistant manager ended her life last year. Yes, the teams are great, I was fortunate to have been able to often protect my team from difficult managers.

    My situation went all the way to the top because I refused to resign when they continued to place me under suppressive managers. I didn't budge, and my situation went all the way to the top (Clive Schlee, CEO labelled me his late night girl due to my late night emails out of trauma. I write about this extensively on my blog).

    And because my situation is so out-of-sync like a twisted Hollywood movie (but I have it all in written evidence) I collected many staff reviews/complaints.

    It depends what your position are, if you are a team leader your job is difficult because you are mostly blamed by lazy managers. If you play the game and kiss up to management, you will be fine. But I could never do that.

    I don't know if your friend is a TM or in leadership, but he/she is lucky to be in a good shop.

    Selected reviews I chose (I write & create posts to help me cope)

    This list is taken from a long list I compiled, and this is everywhere, the USA side is pretty bad with repeated complaints about discrimination and racism:

    Sorry for the load, but the public is lulled in by the outside facade.

    Thank you for reading and your kind words.

    Happy and healthy new year to everyone.
  • Are PRET workers part of a trade union?
  • Hi Stutent,

    not sure, some may be. I was not and it's a big regret. But I was not in a Union because I never needed to, I NEVER ever had any issues at any of the prvious work places I worked until I came to Pret. And I understand also that Pret is "just" part of the bigger picture of the greed & profit ridden business world, especially once private equity gets its hands on a business.

    Andrej Stopa worked in Pret and was fired in 2012 BECAUSE he started a Union. But Pret twisted the reason for dismissal that Andrej allegedly made homophobic remarks (10 months before!)

    I gave Andrej an extra page on my blog. He is back in his home country and not very active, but his Twitter is still there, sitting on Twitter:

    This Times journo explains why Pret has lost him:


    "To my surprise, I also find myself feeling bothered by the sheer number of Pret outlets in London. I used to think there could be no limit and dreamt about a branch opening on my street, so I could have posh cheddar & pickle on artisan bread sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I walked out of a branch in London the other day to find there was another branch of Pret right across the road. The recent claim made by chief executive Clive Schlee that “Pret looks like a huge company but in fact it’s 500 little kitchens”, and marketing material that implies that Pret is still a local store selling healthy products to customers it knows intimately, just doesn’t wash anymore.
    It’s obvious what the owners are trying to do. As one veteran private equity investor put it recently: “We buy a business, work out how many restaurants you can get away with in an area until it’s become saturated, then try to convince a new buyer that there is plenty more runway”."


    I am now in very good contact with a Union that works with fast-food workers and they have already helped me immensely EVEN after I'm not with Pret anymore. I have a direct line to the top and other associated with this Union. And should Pret give me trouble for going public, I have this and unions and other groups behind me. But all Pret is doing via Twitter is letting Twitter shadow ban me with their secret censorship Twitter denies doing.

    That's all Pret comes up with at the moment as they know they can do nothing with all the written evidence I have. If someone wonders if I went to court, I explain in this post, because I get this asked a lot and to avoid repeating, I point to the blog entry:

    For fast-food workers (and any employee as such!), EVEN if you have no problems at the moment PLEASE safe yourself headaches later on JOIN A UNION ASAP! You don't need to tell your boss or colleagues that you join, as that will put a target on your back. But quietly just join a Union, and if you run into troubles, THAN you can get back-up openly. I didn't have that and was like a sheep in-between wolves! That is why I write so boldly, bluntly and openly, because now I have nothing to lose and the public deserves the truth, especially potential employees who don't know their right and speak hardly any English.

    Pret employees foreigners on purpose, not only because of the low pay, but because they don't know the language, they don't know their rights, they are clueless where to go when in trouble. They are very easy to control and manipulate. I had to fight a lot for my foreign colleagues when they ask me for help (not being paid, overhours no pay, too many hours exhausted, bully boss etc.)

    I highly recommend the Baker's Food and Allied Workers Union

    I met them, I saw what they do, they were instrumental to organize the FIRST EVER McDonald's strike in the UK following the pioneers in the U.S.

    Thank you for reading and enquiring.

    Good and healthy new year to all.

  • P.S. Last thing I'm sorry, but 2 videos I shot and edited in October when the global fastfood worker strike happened. This was in London, also with the BFAWU, Uber, Dominoes, McDonald's, Weatherspoons etc. etc. and John McDonnell ...

    The first video I dedicated to my former Pret colleagues who are still struggling, those whom I know, the second video concentrates more on the speakers. The rally took place in Leicester Square and another one in Brixton...

    Everyone, just join a Union, take it from me, don't struggle alone!



  • The simple way to stop people going into Pret et all is just to hand someone a straight espresso.

    When they spit it out and say it is undrinkable ask them why they would want to add half a pint of milk to it and then pay to drink it.
  • No, Pret already has bad coffee, people just don't realise how oily the coffee beans are. I often got stomach cramps and switched to Tea.
    People don't go to Pret because of coffee, when you read the tweets on Pret's feed, people seem to feel like Pret is status symbol.
    And all I can say, if Pret would treat staff respectfully, it would be a good company, or like one reviewer, a GM put it: "Great company in risk of ruin!"

    the customer deaths and how poorly, frankly non-caring Pret dealt with it says it all. Cold business, full steam ahead, no care of the trail of injured they leave behind.

    Customers are like children, you give them free coffees, cookies, lunches etc. and they devour it like they've just won a prize, not realising that Pret buys them with cheap items.

    I'm not going to tell you, but if you'd knew how much a coffee, a latte really costs for Pret you would throw up with the price you pay for it.

  • We've had the price of coffee discussion numerous times. I think everyone knows it only costs about 6p to make a cup of coffee, they somehow don't mind paying two or three pounds for it.
  • AliAli
    edited January 1
    The cup being the most expensive item by far
  • "inevitable", "modern life", "stuck with it".

    it may be unpopular but i'm moved to point out that unless we DO change it, rapidly and radically, we probably won't have ANY shops on stroud green road, because civilisation will have collapsed due to climate change.
    still, gentrification obviously must have SOME positives.

    happy new year all!
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