i hear that the flower&plant shop on stoney street is soon to be replaced by a resteraunt. The building is one of the oldest in southwark and has been nicely preserved by the flower shop people (if you wonder down the back of the shop theres alot of interesting history).
i personally think this is a shame. Resteraunts last, for what maybe 5-7 years on average if they're lucky...a sad way to bring about an end to a 300 year history in my view. Besides, the flower shop was the only local decent place to buy plants.
i hear its the (expensive) fish-monger next door who's put the application in. I'll certainly never step foot in his resteraunt.
I agree that it is the best flower shop in the area, although outrageously expensive compared to equal or even better quality on Columbia Road. I also think that a restaurant might be a more appropriate venue for Stoney Street as the area became a foodie destination whereas Columbia Road is the flower and plant destination. I rather like the idea of these specialised area's, although I wished that Borough Market was a bit more affordable so that all local people could make their daily market.
i also like the idea of specialised areas; but it doesnt have to be 100% specialised. A moderate amount of variety is also useful; so borough market can maintain its emphasis on food but the odd flower shop is also nice to see. Similarly, the cafes on columbia road are always welcome.
But the main concern is the building itself; a historic buidling is going to have its walls smashed down for the sake of fire exits in a resteraunt that probably wont last 5 years. these desicions are irreversable, and in my view taken too lightly. just because some bloke wants to start a business we loose a historic building.
i get the feeling the lease rates charged by the borough market trust are exhorbitant, hence the high price of the plants and flowers, and everything else in the market. But the resteraunt will be no less cheap (and not just in monetary terms), thats for certain.
misfit, I have seen the upper floors of the building in question, it was once home to Kehoes shoe makers and the top floor is derelict and unsafe, the middle floor in desperate need of restoration. The flower business merely moved in and set up shop in a cleared and cleaned up ground floor after an earlier proposal to convert the building came to nothing. I don't know about the intentions of the fish business as far as refurbishing the floors other than the ground, but maybe via this 'bloke' and his business this is an opportunity to stop the rot above the ground floor. Suggesting that we are going to 'lose' a historic building because a new use is being found for it is too extreme, the prospect of 20-odd historic and listed buildings around the market area being demolished if the new rail viaduct ever gets built is far more depressing.
Actually we are looking at 2 distinct things here:
1. the need for a flower/plant shop in borough market.
2. The need to restore the building currently being utilised by the flower shop.
I've been inside the shop a few times - but each time walked out empty handed because the prices for the plants are much higher than what you could get elsewhere. I too would like there to be a flower/plant shop in borough market - but expect it to be more reasonably priced.
i didnt really notice any effort on the part of the flower shop to preserve the building but maybe i wasnt looking closely enough. However, as Janefs has pointed out, the opening of the restaurant might actually benefit the building. If the budding restauranteur has any sense, he will capitalise on the inherent charm of the building by sympathetically restoring his part of it.
I hope there is every prospect of that flower business surviving somewhere else in the market area. From my memory of the development of the market, they have relocated several times over recent years, the most recent being their move to 5 Stoney Street from the premises now occupied by the Brindisa tapas bar.