Locals in Herne Hill can see a series of small and independent businesses that have moved into The Arch Company’s newly refurbished spaces. Ranging from retailers to restaurants, they join the very heart of the community on Railton Road, less than a minute from Herne Hill station. The new businesses fill the colourful store fronts next to the bright community artwork that The Arch Company commissioned earlier this year, created by street artist Luke Warburton to pay homage to the legendary heron of Brockwell Park.
South Londoners may well recognise the latest neighbour, The Sicilian Delicatessen. This West Dulwich stalwart has expanded to open its second store, bringing authentic Sicilian food to a new space in South London. Co-Founders Carlo Saraniti and Stephen Vullo saw Herne Hill to be the perfect space to expand the business, thanks to the supportive community with a preference to shop small and shop local.
Ahead of opening on Saturday, 29 January, the team has already experienced this community spirit. Co-Founder Stephen said: “We have been warmly welcomed to the area already and we have not even opened yet, which is brilliant. At the moment, I am talking to locals who are looking through the window. I tell them we are a delicatessen and kitchen; we make fresh food daily in our kitchen and also make our own range of products in Sicily. We are opening on Saturday, 29 January and during our opening weekend we will be sharing jars of our pasta sauce so that locals can see, and more importantly taste, what we are about. We hope to meet many more from the neighbourhood soon.”
The first business to open in Railton Road was Lark, a family-run independent boutique. Lark has delighted locals with their stylist array of homewares and lifestyle products. Founded in South West London, the family has spent eighteen years honing their boutiques with six locations in total, including neighbouring Balham and Streatham.
A second neighbour to join the area is Elsewhere Coffee, the first bricks and mortar shop from coffee connoisseurs Social Espresso. This coffee shop is tucked away underneath the railway bridge on Half Moon Lane and offers fresh beverages, breakfast snacks, and expertly hand-roasted coffees.
Janna Parkhouse, Lettings Manager at The Arch Company, said: “We’re pleased to welcome small and independent businesses to our newly refurbished spaces. This has been a long, and at times difficult, redevelopment project and we’re delighted to see customers complete. We have two more spaces to fill – one a two-storey restaurant unit, and the second a three-storey retail unit that boasts a great vantage point overlooking the junction and entrance to Brockwell Park. Herne Hill is a very special neighbourhood and new independently-run businesses are a welcome addition to the area.”
Jasia Warren, of the Herne Hill Forum said: “It’s great to see small and independent businesses move into Railton Road. Welcoming more businesses into the local area is a positive change and we hope that they will enjoy getting to know the local neighbourhood.”
Over the summer of 2021, The Arch Company commissioned local artist Luke Warburton to create a community artwork. Working in partnership with the Herne Hill Forum, the artwork was created in consultation with over 750 locals, who were part of the creative process. The winning artwork – The River – was inspired by the much-loved heron that is often spotted in nearby Brockwell Park ponds (and where the name ‘Herne’ was allegedly derived from).
There are currently two further spaces available to let in Railton Road. For those interested in renting a railway arch, visit The Arch Company’s website to see available spaces to rent in South London.