London 2012: West End shop owner urges Boris to help boost trade during Games

 

A West End shop owner is calling on London Mayor Boris Johnson to visit her shop in an attempt to boost Soho's "disastrous" Olympic trade.   

Michele Wade, who runs the UK's oldest patisserie Maison Bertaux with her sister Tania, said business had been “devastatingly quiet” since the start of the Games.

“We are all in the mood for it,” she added. “I’m not anti. I’m mad for the Olympics, but we have taken much, much less than usual.

“We are ready and waiting - all dressed up for the party and nobody to serve.

“We need Boris Johnson to come and have a cup of tea and cake and give a boost to the area.

“We can’t carry on like this for the next three or four weeks. It’s quite nerve-wracking as we have to hold our own. It could be disastrous.”

The Greek Street café which was founded in 1871, and which Ms Wade says is the UK’s oldest, has already survived two Olympics.

Ms Wade bought it in 1988 when she was working there as a waitress.

She blamed the poor trade on the absence of non-Olympic tourists and her London customer base – which includes Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, painter Howard Hodgkin and film maker Sam Taylor-Wood – fleeing the city to escape the crowds.

She said: “When you have got a small business, every penny counts, especially as our regular customers have gone away because they thought it was going to be crammed.

“Of course it’s about money, but people are missing out too if they don’t come up.”

Andrew Ranum, who manages The Spice of Life pub, a short walk away in Moor Street, described last weekend as the quietest since the post-Christmas dip last year.

“It has really taken us by surprise,” he said. “We are all sitting on our hands as we had rostered generously.”

Pedro Jimenez, manager of the Camisa restaurant in Old Compton Street, added: “It’s very disappointing.

“All these millions of people are coming to London and it’s still empty.”

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?