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A rumour from Facebook

Sad news - just heard that Zer cafe is closing tomorrow. Thanks to the guys there for great times. X

Tags: ediths house, sumac, zer

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What a shame.

Three wishes:

  • All the best to the owners and hope they are moving on to bigger and better things.
  • A new tenant lined up so that this key site on the Broadway does not lie empty for months.
  • A useful business for locals that is not another coffee shop, hairdresser, juice bar, nail bar or big national chain.

So you mean you want an estate agent?  The sort of fantasy shop we will want can't pay the very high market rents any more.

This is sad news indeed. Zer was my default café in Crouch End, and I was the first person to review it on Trip Advisor, with 5 stars to boot. I'll miss the friendly ambience, the care and attention I received - not to mention the tasty meals - and I wish Kemal, Ösden and all the staff the very best, with grateful thanks for the all-too short time I spent in their pleasant company. Let's hope that the replacement café on that site is even half as good.

Yes, sad news. Why is it that Turkish restaurants are unable to survive in Crouch End?

Meanwhile, a few doors away, it looks like Bouga's has squatters. There was a 'Possession Order' slapped on the window on Friday. I can't blame people squatting there - it's disgraceful that this site has been derelict for - what, two years now?

And opposite, the soon/never to be opened fish & chip place now has scaffolding up. Progress perhaps? 

There exists another Turkish restaurant in Crouch End called 'Sumac', just past the YMCA but on the opposite side of Tottenham Lane, and it's reputed to be good though I haven't tried it myself yet.

I wish the Bouga squatters the best of luck. In its day that restaurant managed to give my partner and I a dose of food poisoning, so the squatters are belatedly revenging us.

The fish 'n' chips place is, as I hear, due to open at the end of August and I look forward to checking it out. So progress there indeed seems to be.

Zer has relocated to Manor House, ad I think the scaffolding is a coincidence. That parapet looks pretty shabby. As for Sumac , read a bit about it.  And a clue about what is coming next from this Edith's House planning application

Zer's owner opened up an additional café in Manor House over a year ago as an adjunct to the Crouch End Zer, so it's not exactly a relocation but more a diminution of his holdings, regardless of what the notice in Zer's window implies.

It's probably my dimwittedness, but I can't tell from the planning application what Edith's House actually is; it could just as well be a shop selling knitting wool rather than a replacement café. Can anyone enlighten me?
I can now reveal what happened with Zer, having been given the story today by Ösden (the manageress) when I had Sunday lunch in the Zer Café at Manor House where she is now ensconced.

It seems that the Crouch End Zer had been put on the market some weeks ago because the owners were finding it economically difficult and tiring to run two places simultaneously, and to battle with staffing difficulties and the general Crouch End competition. At their Manor House establishment there's no other eatery for quarter of a mile in any direction, so life there is easier for them. Suddenly on Thursday an offer was made by two English fellows who already owned a café elsewhere, so Zer was sold to them then and there, and closed down by Thursday evening - with a feeling of relief all round.

As I understand it, the replacement café, of whatever sort it is, will open in September and be called Edith's House.

Hope this info helps to explain the mystery.
As a PS to my last posting, there exists an Edith's House café & tea room in Rye, Kent, whose name plate looks identical to the one submitted as a planning application to Haringey, apart from the colouring. According to Trip Advisor it has a 1950s granny front room decor, is described as quaint, specialises in scones and cakes, and doesn't serve breakfast beyond noon. I hope the Crouch End branch will be less twee and offer a wider menu.

Excellent, and I'm sure very rewarding, research and a good report. Thank you.

In the absence of any actual information I had tried to imagine Edith. The picture I'd formed was of the sort of lady who might run a granny style retro themed tea shop. A granny herself perhaps, slightly prim in appearance and manner, running the sort of establishment where in these straitened times of modern austerity a latter day Captain Mainwaring and Sgt Wilson might search for the currants in the buns.

If not the cafe then perhaps a wool shop, and haberdashery, and perhaps pipe cleaners to support the 21st Century bring and buy sale, Etsy. 

But given that this lady exists only in my imagination, and that of the brand manager, there can be hidden depths. I can go on to imagine a discreet door at the back of the premises, behind a chenille curtain, passage through which is only for those who know the password, and behind which jaded peers of the realm can satisfy their more arcane tastes.

Or perhaps twee is coming back into fashion.

Sorry to disappoint anyone hoping for a wool shop or a house of ill repute but Edith's House is another coffee bar although by all accounts a very good one. see below.


I'll grant you the typeface on the two premises does look similar, but there is a meaningful change in the background colour. I'm still hoping that this branch will be run by Rye Edith's rather more fasciN8ing cousin , Haringey Edith


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