Looking to buy commerical property in Forest Hill (less than 10 mins from station)


I am looking to open a very unique coffee shop in Forest Hill with my friend. The coffee shop will also be a social enterprise and want to work as much with the community as possible. We also plan to work with local smaller start business where we can when designing and operating the coffee shop.
Please PM if you know if any retail properties that come available.



Hi @etesfay2

I wouldn’t have divulged this as it was the subject of our private message, but as you have made it public I thought it would be okay to mention that I said, “Unfortunately, due to the fact that all of my 7 shops on Dartmouth Road are all within a few doors of other coffee shops/cafes so I wouldn’t let any of them for that use as it might compromise my friends in those other businesses.”

Now it’s out there though, it’s for the market to decide - but I do hope that you manage to find the ‘right’ premises as I commend the fact that a big part of your project seems to be aimed at working with the local community.


Lola’s Bakery on Perry Vale?


There are tonnes of coffee shops in Forest Hill, it’s true. But not on the Perry Vale side of the tracks. Have you seen the unit where the Waters Fishmongers/Greengrocers was? On the corner opposite Finches. Enough space for a few tables, prominent location, and no competition for all the footfall coming from that side of the station.


Great thanks. I will have a look and inquire about those


I was interested in buying the Waters site when it closed down and I understood that the agent dealing with it is one directly opposite but they never came back to me. I don’t know if I got off on the wrong foot or whatever, but hopefully you’ll have better luck. It’s an amazing property!


There’s what I think is or used to be a commercial unit on Perryvale that has been empty for ages and looks to be in urgent need of renovation (shown below with the bins outside) BUT it’s in a great spot between the very popular Clapton Craft craft beer (and other drinks) and the Carribbean takeaway that is always very busy for good reason. That stretch gets great footfall from people coming to the back entrance of the station and doesn’t really have any immediate competitors (as has been noted almost all the coffee shops are on the other side of the tracks). So if the property is viable I can’t think of a better spot for it: [EDIT: This spot is just a few doors down from the former Waters premises which others have noted would also be a great spot]


If it was in that area I would stop there everyday after the school run! All other coffee options are on the other side of the station. Perry Vale needs a little coffee nook!


It does seem an obvious gap in the market, doesn’t it? The hair dressers opposite the station, which was Crafty Beers, was a coffee shop for a while, but they got the decor and overall atmosphere very wrong. I think contributed to what happened to Waters too - ie, they got their branding and visual identity wrong. A good coffee place in a prominent location like Waters would do well, and bring business to the rest of the street.


In fairness this may have had much more to do with random closures and uncertain opening hours. Along with sometimes poor and low stock, particularly in their veg offerings.


They did seem to get a lot wrong, didn’t they? A real shame, as I think there’s a hunger for a decent fishmonger/greengrocer in the style of Billings or Fresh and Fruity.

I think the smallest measurable unit of time is how long it takes for someone to post a question on here about what might be going in to an empty shop and someone else replying “I hope it’s a greengrocer”. I call it the Forest Hill Second.


I seem to remember that there was a long-term illness or injury, which would have compounded some of the other hiccups to take things to a critical situation with a build-up of rent, Business Rates and perhaps finance costs as well.
Shame - they were good guys but never quite got it off the ground.


Perry Vale, would be great spot if we could get it. You’re all right it would be good to open something up that side of the tracks. Will get in touch with the agents managing the spaces you all mentioned.

Would be nice if we find somewhere near there and hopefully people will like our social enterprise coffee shop and the look we plan for the shop when we open :smile:


It’s potentially not popular to say, but if the 66 room hotel opens at the top of Perry Vale it is bound to be a boost for the shops and businesses on that side of the tracks. A turnover of hotel guests is possibly even better for restaurants than locals too.

Those in City Walk and around may also benefit from better surrounding businesses. As this thread points out, the area is trying but still needs a bit of a boost somehow. Of course, any boost is offset by the loss of All Inn One.