Dirk asks:

I wonder if you’ve been to the Costcutter (though the sign is a bit faded, so not sure they still have the franchise) on Greenwich Church Street? If not, it’s worth it to see what’s changed.

As I am sure you know, this is a Turkish owned convenience store much beloved by foreign language students, the winos hanging around St Alfege’s Church yard, and South London chavs on their nights out. The range of products is simply hilarious, and you have real difficulty finding a recognisable brand. Most of the stuff seems to be Polish, from other parts of Eastern Europe, or Turkish – down to the juice, coffee, biscuits etc. My neighbour reckons this is so not because the owners want to cater to the tastes of London’s Eastern European communities but because the stuff is cheap.

Which brings us onto what’s new, which is that that Costcutter no longer has a license to sell alcohol. So what? Well, if you go to the store you will see that they’ve sectioned off the whole booze section (around a third of the shelf space!) with hand written signs saying that Mr Hossein Z…(can’t remember the last name) has withdrawn the license, so no more beer and wine!

I’ve heard that Mr Hossein is in fact the owner of the property. And that the Turkish lady you see in the shop is his daughter who manages it and pays him rent. The story I heard was that she asked for a reduction in rent, and he agreed, but said cheaper rent = no more off license.

The Phantom replies:

I can’t say I’m even slightly upsest about this one. The one thing that Greenwich is not short of is tatty stores that sell cheap crap. That Costcutter shop is an eyesore (as is much of that parade) and if no license means they have to clean up their act (and their shop) to regain custom so be it. So the chavs and winos need to toddle a few metres up the road to get their Special Brew. My eyes are dry – and so, I suspect, Dirk, are yours… ;-)

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