All Change on the Western Shopping Front

There’s a Mitchell and Webb sketch about Richard Dawkins looking for a subject for his new book,  the next thing (after God)  that doesn’t exist.  The question “Do Wimpy’s still exist?” gets the response “There’s still one in Greenwich. ”

Sadly that’s not true, though it wasone of the last old-style Wimpys to go and top marks for local knowledge on the part of M&W (the only working Wimpy I know of is on Margate seafront). Of course the dear old Wimpy beloved of a certain generation of schoolchildren, will live on forever (twice, actually) in the charming Bridge of Tiles but for now, at least, it’s yet another faceless all-purpose takeaway fried chicken place.

A number of people have been noticing strange things happening in that scruffy little shopping ‘arcade’ opposite the end of Royal Hill, though. There was the booze bunfight last year when Bottoms Up closed where yummy mummies kicked toddlers out of pushchairs to fill their buggies up with cut-price Champagne,  and now there’s a presumably slightly-less-attractive-to-parents-of-under-fours closing-down sale of J&S Accessories (that’s the motorbike shop on the other side of the parade.)

Scott tells me the sign in the shop window of J&S says that Sainsburys have applied for a liqour license morning to midnight which sort of implies a mini market.

That must delight the Co-Op, still battling valiantly on in between the two…

And Richard has just directed me to the planning application for the old Bottoms Up – apparently it’s to be the expansion of a tour operator and a new School of English, which sounds inoffensive, if a little dull to me.

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17 Comments to “All Change on the Western Shopping Front”

  1. OldChina says:

    I miss dear old Bottoms Up. That had by far the widest selection of ales for sale in Greenwich. “Four for a fiver” was a regular purchase for me.

    Since they’ve been gone no where else comes close for bottled ales. Co-op, good though it is, just doesn’t have the same selection (I don’t live near enough Theater Of Wine to use it often).

    Sorry to hear J&W are going but I’d welcome a new Offy in that arcade. I wonder what’s happening with the old BU premises then?

  2. OldChina says:

    Btw, I think ther’s still a Wimpy in Lee High Rd, Lewisham if anyone is missing it! I haven’t eaten in a Wimpy since about 1981, myself.

  3. IanVisits says:

    There are 13 Wimpy branches in the London area, including three that are quite close to Greenwich.

  4. Ian – I might have known you’d know where to visit Mr W…

  5. JJ77 says:

    I’m pretty sure Woolwich still has an old fashioned table service Wimpy where you can get that unappealing named pud the ‘Brown Derby’(Mr Whippy style ice cream piled up on a hot donut) that i always wanted but was never allowed as a kid!

  6. Joe F says:

    I used to go to the Bexleyheath Wimpy Bar for an Eggburger, a Wimpy with a burger and a fried egg. The technique was always to lift the top of the bun off first and break the egg yolk or else, if you just bit straight in, you risked the explosion of the yolk in a random direction, ie. down your shirt front.

  7. Paul says:

    Oldchina, check the off-licence at Davy’s Wine Bar: easily overlooked (by me, at any rate, for many years) it has a good range of wine, much better than Bottom’s Up, plus Meantime and Shepherd Neame beers.

    The old Bottom’s Up, by the way, will house a larger version of the English School previously housed upstairs – you must surely have seen the gaggle of 17-yr old kids, smoking and chatting excitedly outside the POst Office?

  8. There’s a Wimpy in Eltham High Street.

  9. Benedict says:

    yeah…but what about Wimpys main competitor from the 70s…The Golden Egg?

  10. John says:

    I remain childishly amused by the curved sausage in a bap, named by some marketing genius as a Bender in a Bun

  11. Nick Martin says:

    I used to love the Wimpy pork burger, complete with Apple sauce.

  12. Frank says:

    I wonder what will happen to the parking. With two supermarkets and one of them Sainsbury’s will they try to limit/charge more for the parking. Who owns the parking area anyway?
    Let’s just hope the Bottoms-Up changes get finished before Sainsbury’s start their refurb.
    Refreshments up to midnight – lots of overtime for the street sweepers.

  13. Mouse, A Nonny says:

    The Bottoms Up by the Postoffice has been taken over by ISIS who have the offices above. They are expanding a bit.

  14. ExiledinEssex says:

    Talking of that car park – whatever happened to that weatherbeaten looking guy who operated out of a little wooden hut who always wore fingerless gloves and would scribble out handwritten tickets with a fag dangling out of his mouth?

    Also what moron re-designed the layout in recent years, marking out and banning parking in totally random bays with no logic whatsoever!

  15. Andrew says:

    The chaps in the dry cleaners there know exactly what is going on in there with regards to the old Bottoms Up. The language school has taken it on board and and refurbishing downstairs but also that horrendous concrete cladding upstairs. They have a design image of the new cladding that incorporates a totally new glass facade which will certainly look better than what is currently there. Unfortunately this only extends from the old Bottoms Up to the Co-op upstairs. We can only hope that this spurs the landlord of the rest of the development to do something.

  16. John dedman says:

    Hello Phantom Isn’t it a rainy August?

  17. John dedman says:

    Just having a stroll around Eltham Palace today and I thought of all those years ago when Eltham was the parliament for England And all the jousting etc that went on at the Kings court there. I have lived in Eltham for 42 years now But I think I was happiest in my dad’s shop at No 10 Kirkland Place Blackwall Lane in the 1950s. Dad ran a shop there He was a general dealer in furniture antiques etc and also got his cockle and whelk stall ready in the yard at the back of the shop. It was owned by Morden College Dad rented it from 1944-1954. I was born 1947 in St Alphages Hospitall J Dedman