Forest Hill ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ (Home Accessories Extra) becoming Costa [Now open]



I agree with Rachael. A Costa is a sign a chain thinks FH is worth betting on. It is an advertisement for FH. Maybe not where everyone wants to go, but it could help.


I wonder if the existing shop will continue. I can’t imagine Costa sharing a unit with Home Accessories but the planning application is for conversion of the whole unit to A3 and no partitions (which would need planning permission). I like the idea of a small Costa rather than a big one but I’m not convinced that this is going to happen, despite the word of staff in the existing shop.

I also like the idea of aspirational chains moving into the area, but it is worth considering that this will push up rents and some of the best smaller shops may not survive. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that but a double-whammy of competition from a national chain and rent increases can be hard for small shops to deal with.


Catford has two Costas.


And one in Thornton Heath… A very large one in fact.


From the horses mouth after I spoke to the owners.

Half of the shop will be a Costa Coffee, the other half as is.

If all goes ahead!

Sorry if anyone has said this before, I’m only recently asking about this as it may effect our amazing independent Coffee Shops which I think are ace in our community even though I don’t like coffee - yes I am in the minority in FH.


That’s a shame. Not keen on a coffee chain and of the chains, Costa is my least favourite. If we can’t keep the current shop then an M&S would have been fab.


Interesting, though how the half and half situation would work with a shop like that I can’t quite see! I guess if you’re in dire need of string, fuses, a velour throw of a dolphin and a coffee all at the same time…


I seem to remember that after Blockbuster closed that store was empty for quite some time. I would rather a mediocre coffee and string than an empty shop.


I assume they will physically separate the two spaces with a wall and separate entrances.


I would think the same too, makes perfect sense. IF that is indeed the outcome of course.

On another note, I don’t think we are likely to see the likes of M&S or Waitrose around here for a while, based on their lack of interest in the proposed Co-op redevelopment. Hopefully some of you guys get your wishes soon :slight_smile:

With Santander going soonish too, London Road is about to change a bit, hopefully for the better.

I digress a little. (a lot)
So yes, I would imagine two shop fronts.


I was born and brought up in the area and moved back six years ago. When I was a nipper of course there were butchers, bakers, hardware shops and all kinds of emporia where you could go and buy things, but doodly-squit places where you could go and eat or have coffee, or indeed have a take-away - nobodydid those things away from their homes. The arrival of the Casa Cominetti Italian restaurant in Catford was big local news. Nowadays the reverse is true - there are tons of places to go and have coffee, eat, drink and socialise but doodly-squit places to buy things (mainly courtesy of the internet of course). It’s the Maplins phenomenon. Not saying either is better or worse (although I do for one lament the prevalence of the chains), but it’s interesting how the demographic and purpose of our high streets has changed from places where you buy things, to places where you eat and drink.


Absolutely love the way you have put this. As a long timer in the area myself, I could not agree more. Interested to see what the next big change will be.


Emporia - great word. I will try to fit that into more of my sentences over the weekend.


I should however point out one thing… The Golden Griddle. The one exception to there being nowhere to go sit and eat. And what a place it was. How I loved it in there! Mmmm.


That may be due more to the location outside the Dartmouth/London Road shopping area than the viability of Forest Hill for these retailers.


The planning application is now shown as ‘withdrawn by applicant’. They will need to submit a new application if they plan to split the unit into half A1 and half A3.


True, true… I guess we will have to wait and see.


@anon30031319 - have you found an update on the co-op proposals - or lack of them ?


I wonder if they competed to any extent with Maplins?

Perhaps the demise of Maplins carried a silver lining for Home Accessories and they changed their mind.

Or maybe they read this topic and our Facebook comments:


I think they changed there mind about that application as Costa didn’t want the whole shop. but I don’t have any inside knowledge, just basing this on the comments above.