Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Amber Tree Café and other high street news

Meet Jolanda and Virginia at the Amber Tree Café, a new delightful new addition to the south of the high street (number 45). Proprietor Virginia is Lithuanian and the cafe has got off to a great start, offering a varied lunch and breakfast menu (eat in or takeaway) at very reasonable prices. Virginia says all their food is handmade, freshly produced and uses only natural ingredients, and the cafe's speciality is their amazing homemade cakes, which include gluten free, dairy free and eggless recipes.

Co-incidentally, you can watch a live performance of traditional Lithuanian music at 1pm on Saturday 27th at the Deptford Lounge. Part of Deptford X festival, more info here.
Amber Tree has replaced the ill-fated Slices pizza restaurant which set up shop around the same time as the Pizza Bus down the road – the latter may have usurped Slices' USP. In a similar manner, the lovely Lithuanian women's lunchtime trade may about to get unwanted competition. A couple of doors down, the former Abermarle & Bond is now being refitted, and the builders have told us it's to become a new (franchised) branch of Subway, the bread-based food outlet that seems to be set on massive expansion.

At least it's not another pawnbroker. However, Subway don't offer hot meals and homemade cakes like Amber, or spicey Caribbean bites and breads like the great Chaconia bakery opposite, but the new store may give Percy Ingles another two doors down – and Greggs up the road – a run for their money.

Abermarle & Bond went bust earlier this year after the price of gold dropped dramatically last year (although their main trade was in Pay-Day loans). When the branch opened in late 2011 it became the fourth pawnbroker on the high street in a betting-shop-and-pay-day-loan cluster, as we reported at the time.

A later addition to the cluster was Cash Converters which took over the old Halifax premises, after locals campaigned against it becoming a Betfred (and which the Council managed to stop due to an unusual planning clause that applied to the building). But along with Abermarle & Bond, the Deptford Cash Converters branch has now inexplicably closed, having denied earlier in the year that their "Big Sale" was a "closing down sale"...

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