#ShopLocal: Old York Road Closes to Traffic to Boost Business

As lockdown eases and businesses do their best to acclimatise to the ‘new normal’, Old York Road in Wandsworth Town will be closed to traffic this summer to afford pubs, restaurants, shops – and their patrons – a little extra space to breathe

This article was created in collaboration with Wandsworth Town BID, which works with local businesses to shape the future of the area. If you live, work or study in Wandsworth Town Centre, why not apply for a loyalty card for discounts on local shops and services?

Wandsworth Council pushed for the initiative, getting permission from the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, to create a traffic-free, pedestrian-and-cyclist-friendly Old York Road from 6 July until the end of August.

The road closure means that pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to utilise outside space, making social distancing easier, boosting consumer confidence and hopefully providing the boost that the local hospitality sector so greatly needs.

Wandsworth Council has agreed to simplify the process of applying for a street licence and waive the normal fees, although businesses must take steps to ensure that noise disturbance does not affect residents.

So, what businesses can you soon expect to see open on Old York Road?

Chit Chaat Chai
The wonderful, colourful Chit Chaat Chai will be back open from Saturday 4 July, with a small serving team, a limited capacity and reduced hours (open Weds-Fri 4pm-10pm & Sat-Sun 1pm-10pm).


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Konnigans restaurant has been serving takeaway pints, coffee, smoothies and food (including a takeaway Sunday roast) for most of lockdown, but soon you’ll be able to hang around and enjoy this contemporary British cafe/bar/deli at a more leisurely pace. Open Mon-Weds & Sun 7am-3pm, and 7am-9pm Thurs-Sat.


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Much more than a butchers, Cleavers also supplies fresh veg, a selection of wines and great pies, pasties, rotisserie chicken, hot, ready-to-go sandwiches and even grilled halloumi & veg skewers. Cleavers has been open throughout lockdown to help keep our fridges stocked, and is open from 7am till 7pm daily (closes at 5pm on Sundays).


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Over Under
Over Under, located just outside Wandsworth Town Station, has been open for takeaways everyday throughout lockdown, from coffees to bacon baps. Get your latte art and pastry fix right here. Should you be feeling anti-social, you can also order breakfast essentials via Deliveroo and Uber Eats, and get your beans delivered from their online coffee shop.


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The Alma
The Alma, a Young’s pub, is one of those taking a more cautious approach to reopening, holding off throwing its doors open till 20 July. Impromptu pub trips will, sadly, not be a thing for a whole yet though. Instead, customers are asked to book ahead and to download the Young’s On Tap app to order and pay. (The same applies for The Ship, also a Young’s pub, and it’s lovely alfresco terrace, in case you were wondering.)


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Pad Thai Story
Pad Thai Story, which specialises in, wait for it… pad thai, has been doing a roaring trade in deliveries and takeaways over the last few weeks. Pad thai with chicken, prawns, grilled pork, and even pad thai tempura all feature on the menu, but if you fancy a king prawns pa-nang curry, then that’s totally OK too. The team is working hard to get themselves fully reopen from 12pm-9.30pm for 4 July. Call in to see how it’s going.

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WT Barbers
Bad hair, do care… We’re all having follicle frustrations at the mo, but here’s some good news for the chaps – WT Barbers is back and taking bookings from 4 July. Get yourself in there chop chop for a, um, chop, and why not stay for a nice hot towel shave?


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Bayley & Sage
After a brief hiatus, Bayley & Sage on Old York Road reopened on 30 April – perks of being an essential retailer! The deli-cum-wholefoods-store-cum-pantry sells fresh food with a focus on health, including their own-label olive oil, crackers, wines and cheese. So if you’ve hit the comfort food hard over lockdown, you know where to go… Open 8am-9pm seven days a week. 


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Gail’s Bakery
Gail’s, the bastion of bread and brownies, has been running a takeaway and click-and-collect service for pretty much the whole of lockdown, but come 4 July there will be a little table outside for one lucky household to bag and enjoy coffee and a croissant. You can still takeaway as many cinnamon buns, sausage rolls, cheese straws and coffee as you calorie/caffeine count will allow, however. Open 8am-4pm.


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Anthology Boutique
Wardrobe a little neglected? Anthology Boutique reopened its doors on 15 June so you can get your summer style back up to speed. Customers are allowed in two at a time, there’s hand sanitiser, and fittings rooms will be cleaned after each use. Normal 10.30am-7.30pm opening hours apply.


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Bramble & Willow
Flowers always cheer us all up, so pop into Bramble & Willow, which just reopened its doors from 10am-3pm, Tues-Sat. As well as beautiful blooms, you can also pick up indoor and outdoor plants, dried flowers and pots. If you haven’t spent lockdown transforming your home into a little urban jungle, it’s not too late to start…


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Wandsworth Council hopes the same will be permitted for nearby Northcote Road in Battersea. Both locations serve bus routes, hence permission is required from Transport for London. Read more about the closures and bus diversions here.

*Note* This remains a rapidly hanging situation, so please do check in with your favourite local business before visiting in case opening hours have changed. And remember, give your fellow patrons plenty of space and wash those hands! 


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