13 November 2020

Spicing things up on Shaftesbury Avenue

Deal done ! Brecker Grossmith has let the Ground Floor and Basement of 228 Shaftesbury Avenue to entrepreneur Xin Liu who is planning to open a café specialising in Chinese cold spicy food and hot and and cold drinks.

It marks the end of an era as the property was run for more than a decade by mini supermarket AP Foods. The 850 sq. ft corner site was a popular convenience store for office workers and visitors by day and clubbers by night who frequented the famous End nightclub in West Central Street.

Mr. Liu spent several months researching and identifying a suitable Holborn location and says he was encouraged to see Chinese operators nearby such Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Po, Chang’s Noodle, Happy Lamb Hot Pot Restaurant, Coco Fresh Tea & Juice London all flourishing in the past few years before the pandemic.

Despite the drop in footfall caused by the lockdowns this year, Mr. Liu is hopeful that some normality will return next year and says the number of overseas students living in the area make Shaftesbury Avenue the “perfect location to start our business.”  He aims to offer “tasty products at a reasonable price” focussing on “quality food made freshly and quickly” and will also offer a delivery service.

Mr. Liu says that there are more than 100 tea shops and 100 cold spicy food shops in every major city in China and he is confident he can bring a similar lively and spicy new feel to the Shaftesbury Avenue parade and that he will create a destination store for Chinese products.

He added “The area is attracting a growing number of students from Asia from middle to high earning families and we are committed to creating positive word of mouth recommendation.”

The neighbourhood is also being enhanced by transformation of the public realm in and around bustling Princes Circus on Shaftesbury Avenue. A new pedestrianised area will improve access between Covent Garden and the British Museum. The works form part of Camden Council’s West End Project, the largest council-led transformational scheme the borough has ever seen.

The council say the space will provide more places to enjoy lunch, cycle or sit and relax. The new green infrastructure is designed to contribute to improved air quality, health and wellbeing for local residents and workers.

Calvin Nickerson



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