Is the tide turning?

Written by  Monday, 01 June 2015 20:43
New eateries on the High Street, Carluccios, Patisserie Joie de Vie, Kriszta and Melange  New eateries on the High Street, Carluccios, Patisserie Joie de Vie, Kriszta and Melange Vicki Harris
After a run of closures over recent months, the High Street now offers several new restaurants and cafes. The proprietors are hoping the custom they attract will encourage increased business for other shops and traders in High Barnet’s shopping centre and perhaps attract other new retail ventures.

High Barnet has gained a handful of new places to eat, all within the last five months. Most prominently, Carluccio’s opened on 29 May and is doing a roaring trade. In addition to the restaurant, there is a deli counter selling food to take home.

Joie de Vie, on the corner of Moxon Street, opened a couple of weeks ago and has been busy since, selling authentic French patisseries, sandwiches and breakfasts. I visited at 11 a.m. on a Saturday and it was nearly full, despite the competition of Carluccio’s second day.

Angel Coffee in the Spires at the former Oasis siteAngel Coffee in the Spires at the former Oasis site

Also doing very well was Angel Coffee in the Spires, in the former Oasis café site. Angel, which opened on 30 May, offers a range of hot food, a salad bar and cakes, all home-made on the premises. Manager Magda, who has long been a fan of the town and its history, hopes to add Polish food at a later date.

Just opposite Angel, established café the Coffee Bean was also pretty busy in spite of the buzz around Carluccio’s. The manager has however noticed a change since it opened, and is a little concerned that there might not be enough customers to go around.

In common with the owner of Bel Gelato, he would like to see a wider variety of retail outlets in the Spires and High Street, to bring more people to the town centre during the day.

The manager at Melange agreed with them that what High Barnet needs now is an increase in the number of attractive shops.

Also expressing some concern was Krisztina of Kriszta Patisserie, which opened on the High Street at the end of December. Her cakes, some to Hungarian recipes, are hand-made on the premises and she can cater for specific dietary needs such as lactose-free, gluten-free or diabetic.

Most of the traders I spoke to were very positive about the new openings and hope to see the High Street becoming more lively as a result.

Each of the new places offers something slightly different from its rivals

At Melange, manager Justina welcomed Carluccio’s and believed it will bring more people to the town. She said that High Barnet, with its strong sense of community, has a similar clientele to Crouch End, home to Melange’s sister restaurant.

Melange has been very busy since opening in February, with customers now needing to book a week ahead for the most popular nights of Thursday to Saturday.

Each of the new places offers something slightly different from its rivals, so it is to be hoped that all can thrive, and that they represent the vanguard of further new businesses in the High Street and Spires.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 02 June 2015 08:15 posted by Rachel Pearce

    I thought it was but then I noticed that two new charity shops had opened in the high street - how many charity shops can Barnet sustain, surely none of them can be making much money.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 02 June 2015 08:16 posted by Richard Gardham

    I actually think we're harder on Barnet High Street on social media than we should be, to an extent. Yes, the parking situation is ridiculous but we're blessed with some terrific outlets that a lot of similar-sized high streets would love to have. We live just off the high street and have friends from all over the UK stay with us. They are almost always impressed by High Barnet. That may tell you more about the kind of friends I have, but I like to think not.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:59 posted by Linda OShea

    I too cannot believe that another two Charity Shops have opened on the High Street making a total of 12. I have expressed my concerns to Theresa Villiers who does not seem to be able to help much. I believe the charity shops makes the area appear run down, especially when travelling up the hill when the first charity shop you see is on the site of the old Bathroom Shop which could be a fantastic site for a really good retail shop. Maybe Barnet should put their charges down, and we might get more of a variety of shops. Instead of mobile phone shops, barners and the dreaded charity shops.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:21 posted by Simon

    The new entrance to The Spires looks absolutely wonderful and Carluccios really add some vibrancy to the High Street.

    They seem packed out every time I walk past.

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