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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Since I moved to the area in 2015, the section of Green Lanes from the Overground northwards has progressively become more and more monocultural. I think it began in earnest with the huge expansion in size of the three biggest restaurants on the street - Diyarbakir, Gokyuzu, Hala, and has continued since then.

There's now over 20 Turkish restaurants/takeaways between the Salisbury and the Overground station, 8 barbers, and pretty much the rest of the street is grocery shops, jewellery shops, salons/nail parlours and cake shops, sometimes doubled up. I struggle to think of many streets in central-ish London bar Brick Lane which have so little diversity. 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Turkish food and love the fresh produce in the grocers. I use the barbers most months. But, how is it that the street is so same-y? I'm genuinely interested in the dynamics of this. Is it that most of the buildings are owned by Turkish/Kurdish landlords who then rent out to other business owners/entrepreneurs in the community? 

I was under the impression that councils were supposed to do what they could to enable diverse high streets. This clearly seems not to have been happening on Green Lanes over the last decade. There is now little choice for residents who live locally. Dusty Knuckle stands out as something different that seems to do very well, showing that local residents will give something different their custom, and do so in droves. 

Yes there have been a few restaurants that offer something different, but in my experience they've not been great quality or targeted well at what local residents might use often. Other high streets in the general area are much more varied (Stroud Green Road, Crouch End, Stoke Newington Church St). So why is Green Lanes so totally dominated by multiple variations of the same thing? Why can't anything else get a look in? 

Just to fend off predictable criticism of the above:
- Yes, I moved here knowing the area had a strong Turkish/Kurdish community, and yes, if I don't like it, I can, and may well move away from the area.
- No, I'm not racist, and do not resent the Turkish business community. I give many shops and local businesses my custom daily, preferring to shop in them over big chains whenever I can.
- Yes, this is a luxury problem during a cost of living crisis. 

All I'm suggesting is that at this point, Green Lanes might be experiencing 'too much of a good thing', and that a little diversity of choice might be nice to have. And wondering why it might be the case. 

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Sure, I get that (Hatton Garden, Brick Lane, Tin Pan alley, design showrooms in Clerkenwell etc.). Still I do think GL is a bit of an outlier in terms of local areas that also have strong Turkish/Kurdish communities. Dalston manages to have quite a few famous Turkish restaurants but room for other things too, ditto Stoke Newington. Other areas seem to have got more diverse over the last decade, whereas GL has gone the other way.

Surely it also gets to the point where opening a business that offers nothing new is just setting yourself up for fierce competition from the 19 other restaurants on the street? At some point, wouldn't it make business sense to offer something else? I'd argue we passed that point years ago on GL. Rakkas is huge and empty most of the time from what I can see, ditto Stamp. I just can't figure out how two busy weekend days is enough to sustain businesses sitting in such large units. And why, with a little imagination something that might have a better chance of having day and night business most days is pretty easy to come up with. 

Like I said, I can and may well move. It sounds pretty entrenched and realistically it's not a hill I'm going to die on by trying to run a massive campaign. I just think it's a shame to be relatively central in London, one of the most diverse cities in the world, and to have so little choice. Broken record I know.

We need a Fish n Chip shop. A good one.

Finsbury Park has two. We have none :(

There's George's Fish Bar near the Salisbury. It's run by some Albanian fellows so not traditional in that sense but still they do a passable fish supper and are very friendly. I'd recommend them.

Sadly, I had a terrible experience at George's. I know it has great reviews, but it was one of the worst meals I've ever had and I'm not a terrible fussy person. The fish was yellow and smelled bad, and the chips were swimming in oil.

I was especially disappointed as I told the guy how excited I was to try their Fish n Chips :( 

And a decent greasy spoon. Can't get a Jacket Potato on Green Lanes. Such a shame Metz Cafe shut down

There's a new Cafe that's just opened next to Umut meat where the RMVF charity shop used to be - I've not been in but had a quick look at the menu and they do jacket potatoes and cooked breakfasts

Thanks, I'll have a look :)

Have you not been to N4 café. They're more than decent!

Thanks! I need to venture past the Overground station :)

And the potions are vast.  The omelette is a belly buster!

Witchcraft is catching on...




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