Like several other streets across Wandsworth, Old York Road was pedestrianised this summer, to give local businesses a lifeline after the shock of lockdown.

From July to late August, a street license was granted to pull tables and chairs outside and bring back customers to the buzzy SW18 road.

In September visitors continued to turn out for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but as restrictions began to be reimposed these numbers dropped.

Now, as the second lockdown forces all non-essential businesses to close again, the people at the heart of the hospitality industry tell The Wandsworth Times how they will cope.

Bramble and Willow

Wandsworth Times:

Owner, Emma, said her florist will change drastically without her regular festive orders.

“For us, it’s going to be a very different Christmas. Usually we do shop installations, wreaths and wreath-making workshops, Christmas trees for clients and wedding flowers. We’ll have to rely on postal deliveries now - it’s just about trying to adapt and do as much as we can.

“It’s hugely detrimental to us. I don’t think we’ll have the same orders, but we can only do our best.”


Wandsworth Times: Cleavers, SW18Cleavers, SW18

Manager, Ian, says the lockdown will be a mixed bag for his butchers.

“The lockdown actually brings me more business, though the time of year is not good because it’s Christmas. Millions of people haven’t gone abroad and will be having Christmas in smaller households.

“It’s a struggle with suppliers as more people are buying more turkeys, but there are no more turkeys. Suppliers haven’t prepared for this, they can’t produce more turkeys in a month – they take a year. It’s just chaos.”

The Lockdown Bakery

Wandsworth Times:

The Lockdown Bakery opened at the start of August and now it is living up to its name, said barista Gabby.

“It should be okay for business, with people working from home wanting to buy lunch or a coffee to stretch their legs. Hopefully not too much will change, maybe we’ll do more deliveries,”

Viet Town

Wandsworth Times:

After a successful run of Eat Out to Help Out Viet Town will be forced to close. However, manager Ruby, said business had already dwindled in the last few weeks.

“We’re a little bit disappointed but we have no choice. Our business was affected by the new rules like no mixing households, so we were already seeing a lot of cancellations. It’s a good time for us to close our doors and come back after a few weeks.”


Wandsworth Times:

Operations director, Kat, said she is relying on the strong sense of community in the Wandsworth fitness studio.

“It’s something we don’t want to have to do as a business, especially at the moment when keeping up with physical health is so important for your mental health. We do have an online offering so we can shift some of our services there and maintain our community.

“It’s definitely tragic but it’s something we all have to do, to band together and make sure we survive this. We are trying to do everything we can to weather this difficult period, but it’s good to know we have a lovely community who will use our online classes.”