Chez Churchill – sounds promising


An application to put a restaurant into the former Allied Irish Bank (and former Tory HQ of Winston Churchill) was approved on Monday night by Redbridge councillors.

The bank, properly known as the Manor House, has been vacant for more than a year, and there was a widespread belief that pizza chain Prezzo might open a branch there. This turned out not to be true.

However, Councillor Paul Canal tweeted on Monday night that plans had been approved. He wrote:

https://twitter.com/RedbridgeBlue/status/405082596125999105

He added that the application was not from Prezzo, but was rather from a “Wanstead one-off”. And then, intriguingly, he described the plan as: “English/European Gastro style mid/up market cafe and eatery, hopefully some decent wines too!”

So potentially good news for a sign-writer too. More information as we get it. In the meantime, it might be diverting to wonder what Churchill-related name an English/European gastro style mid/up market cafe and eatery might choose. The V Sign. The Ugly Madam. (contd below…)

>Update: Paul Canal has added: “We need to avoid cheap chicken take aways,and work hard to preserve a good balance of retail. This project should stop some people being seduced by the bright lights of Westfield, create local jobs and bring more choice to Wanstead residents.”

The man behind the plan is Mark Foster, who lives in Wanstead. The plan is for a venue over two floors, opening at 8am.

16 Comments on "Chez Churchill – sounds promising"


  1. We are in desperate need for something to challenge the Slowfield..
    However it is too close to The George so that would not work.

    I personally thought Prezzo would work well. I did have my objections when Gioberti’s was around but now with the early reviews of Pinocchio’s been poor we could do with somewhere that is cheap and consistent.

    I have a bad feeling about all of this.. It seems they have just signed off on the license without thinking about it. Remember that the old Cinnamon is due to open soon and has been granted an alcohol/entertainment license.

    God forbid either of them want more than 1.4m of outside seating too!


  2. I seriously feel this idea for what has
    been closed for more than one year, in
    my opinion, is excellent!!
    However, yes, there is usually an
    “However”,
    There maybe parking problems for drivers?
    If this new Eatery/Restaurant accepts
    Taste Cards, I would definitely get one, as is near to where I live!
    Wish there was a nearer Cinema too?
    Thank you All.
    Sue Knight


  3. South Woodford Cinema not close enough for you?

    Soon you will be able to jump on the W12 to goto Walthamstow’s new one too.
    Although the W12 takes about 3 weeks to get to Walthamstow.. It is quicker to walk.


  4. The British Bulldog vs the Duke; I know which my money is on. Seriously, a 2 floor eatery in Wanstead; sounds like a folly. Whilst destination diners will travel to our fine village to eat, I do think that local demand for the finer things is pretty limited.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the typical Wanstead resident is more than satisfied by a slap-up meal at the George or the Cuckfield. It isn’t so long ago that I sat in the barber shop on Woodbine Place, whilst Wanstead’s answer to Big Ron (who was having a number one in the seat next to me) was explaining how he’d treated his wife to some jellied eels for her birthday. Nice.


  5. In reply to Susan, I guess they could open it up to the paying Redbridge car park at the back …


  6. I think it sounds like a really good addition to the high street; I’d welcome anything that offers an alternative to the pretty mediocre food at The Cuckfield. And I’m not sure there’s a ‘typical’ Wanstead resident … I know lots of young families in the area (like myself) who are desperate to see more modern (but still classy) places to eat on the high street. And the same reservations were made about the sushi place and that’s thriving. I think a bit of positivity and forward-looking approach about new ventures wouldn’t go amiss. ; )


    1. Wansteadium’s food blogger Suki Orange says: I’m inclined to agree with Leyla. This sounds really interesting, I think. Good luck to Mr Foster – and good on him for having a go, I reckon. I know there would be lots of people unhappy if a chain were moving in – so this seems to me to be about the best option. And restaurants are about one thing which seems to be thriving in Wanstead. There would be worse things for Wanstead to be known for than being good for restaurants, n’est-ce pas?


  7. Its great to see an empty property being used but another resturaunt/eatery? No matter how its dressed up its still nosh n booze. Its a shame there wasnt a more creative suggestion put forward that would serve the whole communityand provide more than just edibles and quaffables. There are more peolple living in wanstaed that solvent young families and young professionals, but I guess they have the disposable income that posh nosh thrives on.

    I wish the project the best but not sure its the best for Wanstaed. Im off to the George where at least it feels like a traditional local pub that retains some of the spirit and character of old Wanstead without being trite, pompous or ‘exclusive’.


  8. I really am quite surprised at some of the comments being posted her. It is not like Wanstead is awash with high quality restaurants. The “village” loses trade because the quality is far from high.


  9. As has been said before, Wanstead folk like the thought of nice things on the High Street but don’t spend. We’ve seen it in retail, Horsfall and Wright, One Deko; and we’ve seen it in restaurants with places like Applebies, original Hadley House and ‘before’ Ark all going into decline.

    We’ll executed ‘destination’ places like Provender will do well but I genuinely don’t think spend on good food in Wanstead is significant.


  10. Not more restaurants in Wanstead, the temporary swimming pool sounds bizarre but far more exciting!


  11. I don’t recall Horsefall and Wright as only moved to the area two years ago. I would be hard pushed to describe Provender as a destination restuarant. It’s no Chez Bruce IMO.
    I do think there is sufficient purchasing power to support quality outfits largely driven by evolving demographics. Unfortunately, people with money to spend go elsewhere.


  12. I’d hate to see this wonderful building sit empty and sliding into decrepitude. I also welcome any new decent eating opportunity on the High St, however (and it’s a big however) there is definitely a limit to the number of restaurants the area can support. This is not a small venue, and it’s going to need a good number of covers to be economic. I wish it well, and so long as it’s good, it will be patronised by my “Last Of The Summer Wine” bunch, but I certainly wouldn’t invest.

    They can’t all survive.

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