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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Some Tulse Hill News For You All

I realised I hadn't offered you any news on the mighty Tulse Hill in a little while. This is a major failing on my part, cos I know how much you all love to know about the status of local businesses (I can't tell you the lack of hits I got from my constant updates on the local Subway).

So, allow me to rectify this sorry state of affairs.

Perhaps the most dramatic news is the closure of the Dallas Chicken and Ribs, a local landmark. I never ate in Dallas (mainly because I felt it should be called "Dallas Chicken, Ribs, and Food Poisoning") but passed it each and every day. It was a comforting presence, cos it's one of the shops that you're never quite sure you've ever seen closed. There was a similar chicken outlet on the street I lived on for two years at university - I swear I never saw it shut.

So imagine my shock when, on the way to the station one morning, I saw Dallas Chicken and Ribs looking positively deserted. A glance at the formal-looking pieces of paper all over the shop revealed that it had in fact been seized by the landlord for non-payment of rent. Ooooo, intriguing. I think we all knew things were tough when Dallas launched its short-lived (and failed) curry house experiment, but who'd have guessed its closure would be forced by non-payment of rent? Certainly not me!

(And, landlord, if you're reading - I happen to know that the tenant of the shop is also a taxi driver at Station Rise Cars - sometimes known as Brown's Cars. Check it out, that's all I'm saying).

The other major local bombshell became clear to me this morning: Cafe Vera is under new management. This provokes some sadness, as I had become quite friendly with the waitresses there, and used to pop in from time to time for a toasted sandwich and a crispie cake. But it was clear the writing was on the wall - there were lots of redesigns of the cafe, changing menus, changing prices. I soon stopped going, in part because of the aforementioned Subway, in part cos Vera was just becoming too expensive.

On Sunday, I noticed some more work was being done on the shop and today, I saw the "under new management" sign. I also noticed that the prices were now dirt cheap so I ventured in. £2.20 for a toasted cheese, egg and tomato sandwich with a fruit juice. Now that's a good price! (Admittedly, I actually asked the guy just for a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich, but what the heck!) I did feel a little guilty about my disloyal behaviour towards the original owners, but the cheap prices soon made me forget. How fickle I am.

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