Lost for Christmas

Pt With demise of the original owner of the row of shops which includes the much-loved Peter and Tony's barbers at the south end of Caledonian Road comes very, very bad news indeed. This iconic local shop is being forced out as the new owners push rents up beyond what is affordable. Peter and Tony's will be gone by Christmas.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how we could try and save Peter and Tony's? Unless something is done that row of shops will transform into the usual chain stores. If you have any ideas which you can lead on do let us know and we'll post upnews here.

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. http://www.cookiewp.com She also manages King's Cross Community Projects http://www.kccp.org.uk
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7 Responses to Lost for Christmas

  1. Sarah Ward says:

    This is distressing news. I am also concerned about the future of KC Continental which is next to Peter & Tony’s and another iconic & much loved KX shop. Is it possible to write to the new owners of this row of shops? In the meantime, locals would do well to make sure they put as much trade as possible the way of these shops (and not Tesco opposite for instance). The cheeses at KC Continental alone are something worth crossing the road for and avoiding the plastic wrapped rubbish offered in the supermarket!

    Please let us know anything local residents can do…

  2. Lynne says:

    Not good. And does anybody know what’s happened to Chada?

  3. Costia Khoury says:

    shame on whoever is the new owner; not even leave it til after xmas? I’d be interested to know how much the rent difference is – i’d happily contribute a small amount by DD each month to keep P&T in business.
    A small amount multiplied by (i’d hope) enough concerned local residents who would rather Kings Cross doesn’t get even more “upmarket” and keeps some of its old-school colour should help towards something like that?
    It’s all well & good to clean up the area’s worst aspects but why does it usually go hand in hand with incoming chain store dross and more such pointless, “get the same cr*p around the corner and across the road and in every borough and and and..” developments?
    Makes you kind of yearn for when no one cared how it looked around here a decade or more ago…
    (long term resident rant over, thanks)

  4. Ian says:

    How typical that landlords hike up rents when an area improves and force out longstanding businesses. It is happening in Brixton as well. Personally I think there should be rent control on longstanding businesses so that they cannot be forced out of business. They are contributing far more to an area than a landlord who just takes money out of the area. My prediction is more fast food takeaways who apply for a late night licence, since they are easy to get.

    On a more positive note, I would like to recommend the vegan shop at 73 Caledonian Road. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy what they have (includes some cool footwear), and they have a basement cafe with excellent cake. Also like Simmons, nice little bar opposite Tesco’s.

  5. Stephan says:


    Chada has closed the hardware shop to concentrate on his business of maintaining homes and flats. I believe his new office is in the shop next to The Royal Thai just up from the North entrance to Keystone Crescent.

    He still is a regular at Gran Sasso for coffee!

  6. Albert Beale says:

    Albert Beale, 5 Caledonian Road, N1.
    (020-7278 4474)

    This is really sad news. My understanding is that the guy who owned that block, and was very supportive of the local community, died a few years ago, and one of his offspring was similarly minded but another now wants to maximise income. (I hope this isn’t libellous!)

    Of course that block needs some refurbishment, but I can’t imagine it’s necessary to push up the rents too drastically, other than if it really is a matter of letting chains in and screwing every last penny out of it.

    I would definitely support communicating with the owners of that block (though I don’t know whether it would do much good): they should at least know how locals feel. Is anyone able to initiate this? Can some coverage in the local paper shame them a bit?

    And yes, Leo’s wonderful Italian deli next door is another absolute local gem – it would be similarly sad if that was squeezed out. (Though Leo can’t be that far from retirement … I think he’s run that place for 40+ years now: it’s the second longest continuously trading business at this end of the Cally after Housmans Bookshop – in the building where I work – which has been here since 1959.)

    I had understood that Tony’s Wholefoods was going to move back into No 10 (at the opposite end of that block), despite also having their new place further up the road – but it looks like that isn’t the case now either.

    Yes, the local independent businesses should be supported. The vegan shop has been mentioned, and Simmonds; and there’s also a kind of bigger and even quirkier version of Simmonds at No 9 Cally Road (in the old Turkish Baths building) which is very much non-chain. And of course you should all buy your seasonal cards and so on in Housmans at No 5! (Sticking it out during all the “development” schemes, and refusing to sell out to developers, meant the shop lost its passing trade for years when so few places were open on the block, and Housmans has a way to go before it can recoup all the losses from those years and be sure of long-term viability…)

    Albert Beale

    PS – are all the independent local businesses mentioned here in touch with this website??

  7. Amar says:

    I used to go here as a kid in the late 70’s with my dad, for many years. Peter was a great guy. it is always a shame when we lose the original décor. The area has also changed so much since then. Always brings back memories of my late dad too, Thanks for keeping the image, history and nostalgia as an archive on the net.

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