Putney is having a facelift. Everywhere you look there are roadworks, scaffolding and plenty of new shops, bars and restaurants springing up too. The Exchange is still undergoing a transformation while the works at the station are fascinating to catch a glimpse of every once in a while to see how things are progressing.
The crossroads has been a bit of a mess for a few weeks now but it looks as if that is reaching its end, with those fancy timer crossing guides now up and running. They must have been installed after numerous crashes and near-misses at that junction.
Down at the bottom, meanwhile, there’s two new bars – the Swift (review to come) and The Toy Shop both give more options for the going out brigade beyond Fez and Citizen Smith (oh, fine Lost and Co, if we must) while Bills is now a nice established part of the high street. Flames, which always overpowered the smell of the nice little flower shop next door with its doner kebab odours, is also, mercifully, gone too.
As mentioned, it’s the station where most interest lies. For months now it’s been undergoing serious work to make it able to handle the huge numbers of people that use the station – which can be seriously busy – to meet this demand, and at present it’s in that stage where it look as if nothing is being done. Yet you know that once the new staircases go in and the ticket hall starts getting expanded and all that it’ll feel like a different place. It’s not hard to imagine people looking back at photos of it from 2011 and seeing it as utterly different and impossible to comprehend as we do in of photos from 1911.
Meanwhile over at East Putney tube the new apartment blocks are slowly taking shape and altering the skyline. The fact a small Waitrose is going in underneath for residents to shop at after leaving the tube is a huge bonus too. Can’t say the Exclusive Foods shop really entices us in very often for some essentials. Putney Hill was given some new tarmac the other day too!
All in all, then, things are looking up and it’s very welcome as Putney deserves all the improvements it can get.
Bill’s set to open in Summer 2013
Putney high street has been on a mini downward spiral recently, what with the closure of some decent shops and the opening of the likes of Poundland and What a Chicken, but some good news was spied this week when bland highstreet boozer Slug and Lettuce closed to be replaced by a Bills in the coming months.
As you can see from the image to the right it’s expected to be open by early summer (which given the current weather could be some time in 2014) but we’ll hold out they mean around May time. It’ll be nice to have a good quality restaurant on the high-street and Bills does a good all-day selection of stuff, as you can see from its website.
It’s already advertising for jobs, so it’s nice to see some more inward investment to Putney of the sort The Putney Paper can get behind and happily spend its few remaining groats and guineas at of an evening.
What do you think? Pleased to see a new restaurant or would you rather something else? What else is Putney lacking at present?
This week, with a rare glimpse of sun shining through the cloud on the longest day of the year, The Putney Paper headed to the newly opened Bryon Hamburger on Putney highstreet to partake of a sumptuous burger and see if it’s somewhere worth your time.
It’s certainly nice inside, with a narrow entrance widening to reveal a mish-mash of 1950s diner style seating with wood floors and a cavenous back section where chefs prepare the burgers, chips and milkshakes on offer, among other items. They also have a unique selection of beers, rather than the standard fare, which is a nice touch.
Both The PP and friend went for a burger which was well-cooked and served in that time frame of long enough to know it’s been cooked but not so long you worry they’ve got bored and forgotten about it. Chips were acceptable and we had plenty of condiments to keep us going with taste variations. Staff were pleasant, doing the usual staff based things they should, and the toilets were more than acceptable.
It was at least as good as GBK, a mere 50 metres away, so choosing between the two really is like arguing if you like reaching 6 by 3+3 or 2+4 but Byron certainly has both the more interesting layout and more seats, so you have more chance getting on on a busy Friday or Saturday.
Overall, another welcome addition to the high-streets, but nothing to set the world on fire, it is only a burger joint after all.
Putney doesn’t suffer from a lack of good eating establishments – there are curry houses, pubs (several) and the generica locations of Pizza Express, Nandos, Wagamama and burger branch GBK.
Well, now it has another burger eatery in the form of Byron Hamburger which opened last night and had, by all accounts, an excellent introduction to the Putney high street.
It’s something of a shame for the independent places in any location when more homogenous venues move in as people are invariably drawn to these brands because they know them and what they will get.
But then again, that’s a big pull, as paying £10 plus at some random, weird looking location where you have no idea of the overall quality or style of the venue is a risk that many don’t want to bother taking when they know a solid meal awaits at the many brand republic locations on most high-streets.
The Putney Paper will be heading along at some point in the next few weeks and will be giving a considered review on these electronic pages for your palette’s pleasure.
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