I can sympathise with this.
I used to run a hairdressing salon at 53a from 1987 -1995 and soon learned that I needed to take on staff who wanted to work later into the evenings - up until around 9pm - because, prior to that, most of our potential clientelle was walking past the shop either on weekdays en route to or from the station when it was closed or on a Saturday when we were at full capacity with pre-bookings.
I know that it’s not always easy for shopkeepers to stay on late to get a piece of the commuters’ action due to family commitments etc but I do think they’re missing a trick if they don’t - even for one late-night-opening a week.
Maybe after improvement works there might be a new vibe going on, which could give things a bit of a lift and a renewed enthusiasm possibly for a Forest Hill late night opening until 8pm every Thursday or whatever?
From my point of view, I hope the Montage premises becomes almost anything other than another hair or beauty salon; and, if it is an eatery or bar, it opens for at least a few of the ‘normal’ shop opening hours to help with footfall.