It’s a cry that has reverberated round the streets and social media networks of the area for years: “Why can’t West Hampstead have a butcher?” Now the (non-vegetarian, at least) residents of West Hampstead have reason to celebrate.
The Hampstead Butcher and Providore, a well-known fixture on Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead, has announced that it will open a second branch on West End Lane in October. The shop will be situated at the site next door to the Wet Fish Café, which is currently a greengrocer’s.
Like its Hampstead shop, the West End Lane branch will stock fresh cuts of meat as well as a range of prepared terrines, pies, pâtés and convenient “oven-ready choices”. Those who place importance on the provenance of the meat they buy will be pleased to hear about the company’s ethos, which promises “British, fresh, traceable, ethically-reared meat”. It will also sell wine, which may soften the blow of nearby Brooksby Wines closure.
Philip Matthews, owner of the business, said that West Hampstead was the logical choice of area to open a second shop: “It’s always been number one on our shortlist of London villages – many of our customers travel over from West Hampstead anyway, so the demand for quality meat is clearly there”. The business had investigated opening here a couple of years ago, but the deal fell through, much to the anguish of many locals.
Philip is keen for the business to engage with and become a part of the local community, with plans for wine and food tasting events in the future. He commented “Now it’s time for West Hampstead residents to uphold their end of the bargain and come in and shop with us”.
Let’s hope the carnivorous locals cries for a butcher translate into support for the new venture. The meat stalls at the farmers’ market are always busy, and with Waitrose soon to open just across from the new butcher as well, the demand for good quality meat may just about be sated soon.