Tower Bridge Piazza / Courage Yard

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Saturday 21 November 2015 6.11pm
[split from thread about restaurants - JH]

You can download a PDF of the plans from STRA ( It's going to be renamed as Courage Yard.

While I welcome the refurbishment of the piazza, I'm quite concerned about the commercialisation of Shad Thames. With the new hotel/restaurant bordering Queen Elizabeth St and this new development, no doubt there will be a lot more visitors coming into what Is a very residential area.
Sunday 22 November 2015 10.57am
The new owners want to remove the well known fountain sculpture, change the Conran inspired colour scheme which matches Tower Bridge and bring in a "café culture" with a new "pavilion style restaurant in the middle of the square. They have already forced out the Italian family owned Shades café which closed this weekend. I fear worse is to follow
Sunday 22 November 2015 10.17pm
It might be better than the current mix of estate agents and sandwich bars, which is pretty dull.....
Sunday 22 November 2015 10.27pm
Nick Pike wrote:
It might be better than the current mix of estate agents and sandwich bars, which is pretty dull.....

I agree - given the location just a stone's throw from Tower Bridge there's a very strange mix of shops in there at the moment (the barbers is pretty good though!). If the developers do it properly - and reading the plans I'm not completely convinced - then it would be a good addition to the area.
Monday 23 November 2015 1.02pm
Shades was my favourite sandwich shop!! Disappointed to read that it has closed.
Thursday 28 January 2016 12.46pm
The fountain/sculpture in the middle of this square is completely wasted in this dreary, lifeless space. Most of the shops have closed down. The flats above are shabby. You can almost see the tumbleweed bowling through... It will need far more than a simple repaint to revitalise it. But the space should be kept; it is in very short supply.
Thursday 28 January 2016 5.41pm
I agree with Georgie Shaw this space is shabby, lifeless and has never worked. I have lived here for 25 years and was so delighted to see that some sensible souls were going to give it a major makeover.

From what I understand the fountain is being moved just round to the courtyard by the Anchor Tap - that a tree will be planted in its current location - anything wrong with that?

When people talk about their worries about the commercialisation of Shad Thames - surely these units have always been commercial - just unsuccessful commercial units.

The space for the Pavillion style restaurant - I don't think I have ever seen this space being utilised - perhaps once or twice by a few kids on skateboards. I don't have any objection to skateboarders but nor do I object to a new cool restaurant.

As to the colour scheme - it is horrible as it is.

Some people seem to prefer empty spaces to thriving commerces - I would much preferred to have a Tesco in the old Indian Restaurant on Queen Elizabeth Street than the empty unit - empty for what is it - 10 years or so now?

With the new development at One Tower Bridge coming on stream soon why not give Courage Yard a chance to move on.
Saturday 30 January 2016 1.26am
Makeovers and successful businesses are to be welcome and encouraged in the neighbourhood... if they are in keeping with the unique character of Shad Thames and bring benefits to the local residents.

While the revitalisation of the Piazza is exciting, I worry for those residents whole apartments directly overlook it. Will the restaurants and cafes bring in large crowds and with it noise and litter etc?

As for the new Tesco, it has been strongly opposed by local residents and the Shad Thames Residents Association for many reasons (just do a search on this forum). Lovage occupied that site until 2-3 years ago. Before that it was another restaurant called Hara, if memory serves. It's not been empty that long.

I guess my point is, thriving businesses and new developments are great but there has to be a balance between the needs of local residents vs those of businesses. There needs to be more consideration on the type of business that is appropriate for the neighbourhood and the impact it has on traffic, noise, safety etc in what is largely a residential area.

Shad Thames is a quiet, conservation area with a unique character. It would be a shame if we let it turn into just another high street with the same shops and supermarkets as everywhere else.
Sunday 31 January 2016 8.20pm
Whilst I'm not certain as to how long the proposed Tesco unit in the Circle has been closed, I think it's nearer 10 years then two or three....
Sunday 31 January 2016 8.57pm
Not that it really matters when Lovage closed, there is a google review dated 2 years ago and others from Yelp dated 2012.
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