The last two pictures I took where of two different eating establishments on Chatsworth Road. One is a brand new, up-market restaurant called Shane’s and the other is a long closed cafe called Jim’s.
They face each other, on the same road, two names, two apostrophe’s, both with contrasting fortunes.
You can google Shane’s, join the facebook group and read the review’s (http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/venue/2%3A31110/shanes-on-chatsworth.) It sounds great and I’m sure I’ll go along. As a local of Lower Clapton and Chatsworth road for over a year, i’m pleased there’s somewhere nice to eat in the evenings on my very doorstep.
Jim’s on the other hand is closed and has been for some years. Less can be found on it, it’s history, and the reasons why it closed. These gaps leaving ample room for nostalgic space to dive right into, to investigate and invent your own story of Jim’s. It provides an intriguing canvas for nomadic romantics like myself to press upon it our own fantastical back stories.
An enigmatic collection of photo’s can be found here: http://www.chatsworthroadmarket.co.uk/the-shops/jim-s-cafe/
What I find interesting about the contradictory fortunes of these two similar business’s is that they’re example’s of an on-going gentrification process of the area, which is welcomed and rejected in different measures. The on-going success of the revived Chatsworth road market would seem to suggest that this process is more welcomed than opposed. Or perhaps signifies a shift in local tastes,and interest groups.
I’m not here to say one is worst or better then the other, just to merely point out the justaxposition of the two. An example of one of the very integral charms of London - the old and the new. Perhaps Shane and his restaurant will still be here in 10 years time with many a story to tell, but hell, I can’t help but wonder what happened to Jim, the stories he’d have to tell and what he’d make of this ever evolving, eclectic and charming part of East London.