All change by West End Green

The stretch of West End Lane from Nando’s to Walnut is set to see big changes over the next couple of months.

As many of you will have read on Twitter, or (heaven forbid) seen with your own actual eyes, Walnut has closed. The ethically minded restaurant has been a fixture on the corner for just over 10 years, but came up for rent back in June (at just under £2,300 a month if you’re interested). Feng Sushi – also known for its ethical stance – will be moving in this June. Indeed work has already started on what will be the chain’s eighth outlet.

£18 for the 22-piece selection box

There’s much more detail on the design of the 50-cover restaurant here. Feng Sushi expressed an interest in West Hampstead a long time ago, so may feel a bit miffed that in the meantime, the area has become sushi capital of NW London. Alongside MeLoveSushi on West End Lane, there’s also newly opened Sushi Kou on Fortune Green, competing head-on with the well-established Yuzu. There are two newish sushi places on Finchley Road, and the longer-standing outlets Sushi Gen (with an ominous For Lease sign outside), Atari-ya on Fairfax Road (for my money the best of the local options), and Yo! Sushi in the O2 centre.

If the rumours that Karahi Master has closed are correct, hot on the heels of Bon Express shutting down, then are we finally relinquishing the mighty kebab for the healthier sashimi?

Still, if you’re missing your meat fix, rejoice. Apparently some of you haven’t yet caught up with the news that a butchers is coming to town. Since I started this whole blog/Twitter thing back in 2009, this has probably been the single biggest moan of locals: “Why can’t we have a butchers”. The fact that such places have to make a profit in what is a tough market has largely washed over you. So, I don’t want to hear a single person complain that Hampstead Butcher & Providore is too expensive. The high-end butchers already operates on Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead, and has done so for a couple of years now. The only way that a butcher is likely to survive in a high rent area like West End Lane is going to be to target the higher end of the market, and differentiate itself from the supermarkets.

£54 for this “Meat for a week” selection

Hampstead Butcher & Providore (I assume it’s not changing its name for us) will be at 260 West End Lane, where the Chinese medical centre has been (next to Domino’s).

If you fancy a chop with your chop, then step next door. 258 West End Lane is becoming a new salon. Because that’s what we really need in the area. Marco Aldany is a new name for me, but then I’m not really a salon kinda guy. It appears to be a Spanish chain of hairdressers. I can’t tell you much more about it, but I can show you a picture of what the front will look like if it gets past the planners, and tell you that the glass will be armour-plated. Should you be thinking of driving a car into it or anything.

Throw in the changes to The Lion – which has been learning the hard way about the power of Twitter – and the northern end of West Hampstead will have a very different feel to it by the end of the year.

 

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  • Anonymous

    It is really sad that the Walnut has closed. Aiden was a great chef. Do we knoew what his plans are?

  • Ghoul

    In the spirit of healthy competition, I'm setting up a stall outside the new butchers, and will be selling the very best Tesco Value sausages and burgers.

  • Anonymous

    I think they should bring back the Wimpey that was up by the Green.

  • Anonymous

    I dont believe Aiden has firm plans yet. But he may spring up running something more in central London perhaps. Shame for him to go, but I think it was tough running your own place and cooking 5-6 nights a week.

  • Rav

    So we were heavy on Italian places now we will be heavy on sushi joints. In a yet I predict the Mexican wave will hit nw6

  • Anonymous

    I refuse to eat raw fish. Yuck! Enough already! A 24 hour bagel joint would be great. Like the place in Golders Green. Melli?

  • Anonymous

    Not all Sushi is raw fish, Sushi just means 'with rice' 😉

  • Anonymous

    We already pretty much have a 24 hour bagel joint. Ronnie's is open from 8am to midnight most nights. Pretty impressive.

  • Anonymous

    would people rather have another bookies or a pawn shop in west hampstead?

  • Anonymous

    It wasn't a Wimpey but similar. It was called Jennys. I loved that little family run cafe. Good breakfasts and good value and friendly service. Shame they sold up. Now a Nandos.

    • Anonymous

      Jenny's is a franchise, I used to work in one in my home town Lincoln.

  • Anonymous

    Had two bad experiences at Walnut. One, a long time ago I admit, when my partner at the time (who never generally complained about his food)had a really bad steak. They refused to do anything about it or refund it. Then had a meal there a couple of years ago, very unimpressive/disappointing. Hope the MeLoveSushi in WH is better than the one in Swiss Cottage, where quality is poor and they don’t even have proper dipping sauce for the tempura, just some icky mayonnaise. And I’m not wild about yet another sushi chain appearing. New butcher could be good. Can someone please start selling shitake mushrooms so we don’t have to walk to Waitrose/Sainsburys for it. Enough already.

    • Ghoul

      Try George on Mill Lane for your shiitake mushrooms.

  • Debumere

    I love sushi. Be grateful, we have ONE Japanese restaurant in Belfast or Marks & Spencer's for some sushi. Devastating. Loved Walnut though. Was very nice

  • Anonymous

    Yuzu is a wonderful Japanese restaurant with an unbelievable dessert called chocolate mousse but it isn't chocolate mousse that takes half an hour to cook. I am very grateful for it. I hope it doesn't get cuckooed out of business by the infernal chains.

  • Anonymous

    Such good news that we are getting Hampstead Butcher & Providore. It really takes our high street up a notch. Now, we must support it!

  • Anonymous

    When is hampstead butcher & providore opening up on west end lane?

    • I'm afraid you're behind the news here… it said quite a few weeks ago that it was postponing its plans to move to West Hampstead. So, nothing imminent