Broadway pubs and restaurants suffer while coffee shops thrive
Visualisation of new scheme from the developer
The site of one of Fulham’s best known pubs, The Oyster Rooms on the first floor of the Broadway Shopping Centre, is set to be converted into offices.
The pub was a prominent feature of the 20-year-old shopping centre and a long standing favourite destination for Chelsea football fans. Despite its popularity however, owners JD Wetherspoon announced it was up for sale in 2016.
Instead it stayed open until March this year, when the pub finally closed its doors. Now the unit is available to let, with commercial agents Frost and Meadowcroft describing it as follows, “An exciting proposition in the hub of Fulham, this building boasts a unique exterior design that sets it apart from its surroundings.
“Located on the first floor, the space is accessed via escalators to a bright landing area and offers 6,500 sq ft of open plan, newly refurbished workspace. Comprising high ceilings and full height glazing, the space benefits from an abundance of natural light and unobstructed views across the bustling Fulham Broadway.”
The agents also offer computer generated images of the proposed new offices, which in future would look out across Fulham Road to the redeveloped town hall.
An office conversion would constitute a major change for the shopping centre which up till now has dedicated its first floor to its Vue Cinema plus a range of restaurants, currently Pizza Express, Nando’s and Wagamama.
However, the pub is not the only outlet to close - the site formerly used by Yo! Sushi, at the back of the first floor, has been empty for some time and available to let. And the adjacent Fulham Market Hall site, created within Fulham Broadway Station’s historic former ticket hall, is also seeking a new operator, with agents Nash Bond describing is as "occupying a prominent position in the heart of Fulham" and calling it “An iconic Grade II listed former ticket hall, arranged over Ground and Mezzanine floors.”
Though the Market Hall was a huge hit with Fulham foodies when it first opened in 2018, it never fully recovered from a lengthy closure during the pandemic and after a half-hearted reopening, closed down earlier this year with a message on the door saying it had “relocated” to Victoria, where a large hall is still in business.
There is better news however, on the ground floor of the shopping centre itself, where coffee culture continues to thrive.
The arrival this weekend of Black Sheep Coffee, within a cleverly designed unit by the tube station entrance, means that customers in search of a caffeine fix at Fulham Broadway now have five outlets to choose from.
Alongside Black Sheep - an international chain which promises to provide “an immersive urban experience” and claims to be “the only retail coffee company in the world to serve 100% specialty grade Robusta Coffee in a market dominated by Arabica”, there is independent newcomer, Popin.
Popin has taken over a unit at the front of the centre's entrance hall and as well as speciality coffee, includes a deli take-away tucked behind which promises "a fresh take on your neighbourhood store".
For coffee drinkers who prefer old favourites, the line-up also includes branches of Starbucks Krisky Kreme and Pret a Manger.
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May 2, 2022