One further thought on the lack of coherency of SE1 - I see it as having three areas:
- around its northern edge - the Riverside walk and the "string of pearls" for tourists and familes
- behind this walk, offices
- behind the offices, a mix of public housing and new private housing developments.
There are then some specific destinations to which people will travel to use purely for their own sake: Ministry of Sound, Borough Market, Bermondsey Market etc.
Service businesses have to look to their market so:
- the Riverside walk gets Starbucks and tourist/family friendly places but they are open all week
- the offices produce more grown up - but not very alternative - bars and restaurants, which close at the weekend
- the mixed nature of the residential areas means they are harder to provide for - if it's mainly council there are fast food places and slightly run down pubs; if it's private residential you get Champor Champor and Simon the Tanner type places. And I still think that young trendy types in the lofts is a myth - I think it is slightly older types who are less likely to spend their evenings drinking themselves silly and texting their mates.
- the places which are specific destinations - Borough Market gets some trendy shops as trendy people come, Bermondsey Market and Ministry of Sound get burger vans as people who go there, just want something to keep them going etc.
So if I was setting up a new trendy bars, the only places I would look at in SE1 would be Borough High St or possibly Bermondsey Street.
If someone set up such a bar and I liked it, I would visit it at most once a week either boozing with mates on weekday night or having a meal with my partner at the weekend.
There seems to be a staggeringly high number of houses for sale now in SE1, with more and more coming on to the market every day. I'm told that the volume of sales is almost unprecedented for the area.
surely there are always loads more properties for sale everywhere, whenever people think a property crash is imminent. Its called cashing in. It ain't just an SE1 thing. Its got more to do with all those poor old stockbrokers and bankers losing their jobs in the city a while ago, and the economy being up the preverbial poo creek (manufacturing in recession, stockmarket halved down from 7,000 to 3,500 in just over two years, inflation creeping up, etc.) Now, if only we could have a nice quick war or something, that would sort the economy out, and then we could all go back to our favourite spectator sport of saying: "oooh my. look how much property is going for this month in SE1. that's at least xxx k. more than last month."