Fingers crossed for the Wanstead butcher


Concern is mounting among Wanstead shoppers about what has happened to the High Street butcher’s shop.

A G Dennis, the oldest shop in Wanstead, has not been open since New Year’s Day and even fellow shopkeepers seem non-plussed about what has happened.

One told Wansteadium: “I’m hoping it’s just delivery problems but if it’s closed it’s going to put a huge dent in the trade on the High St.”

There is no indication on the shop’s website of what has prevented it opening. Wansteadium has tried unsuccessfully to contact the shop. 

The shop celebrated its 90th anniversary in September

but looking very empty on Friday afternoon…

30 thoughts on “Fingers crossed for the Wanstead butcher”

    1. To many ‘ local’ pop in supermarkets…. My 4 yr old loves that shop…!! Hope it opens soon & isint about to become a coffee shop..!!!

    2. The Light House chip shop has new owners I heard as the previous lovely family have moved because the rent was put up to high. We are losing all our lovely shops in Wanstead High Street, I have a feeling only major high street companies or more charity shops will be moving in .

  1. Closed after a massive rental spike. Really sad. Heard Harveys had same issue but hoping that’s just hearsay. If they put another hairsalon or undertakers in its game over for Wanstead

  2. It’s a real shame. My guess is greedy landlords able to get more from a chain store (based on nothing other than I’ve seen it before).

    Local independent shops need regular visitors who do there main shopping there. The high street suffers from people who buy there main shopping elsewhere and think they are supporting local when all they buy is a newspaper, cake and a coffee and the occasional fortnightly visit to the butchers etc. Sadly it’s just not enough to compete with the chains.

    I am not preaching as I am guilty of this too. We want a thriving independent high st? We need to spend lots to keep them going.

    1. Hi Wansteadium,

      Do we know who the landlord is? Could you approach them for comment? I know there is one landlord who owns many high street shops and also runs one themselves. If it’s them, they should understand the challenge for small businesses. Whilst we can’t expect them to run their rental business as a charity, surely there are benefits to having many independent retailers that compliment each other?

      I agree with Mark that we all need to support the high street much more than we do if we want indie shops to thrive, but at the same time, the rent has to be viable.

  3. Sorry to hear this.

    Could they not co-locate or shack up with the fish man.

    Love the greengrocers but butchers not moving with the times, although to be fair they do good bangers.

  4. Nooooooooooooooo! Let’s think positive here.
    Maybe they are taking a well deserved break. If not I shall be bereft!!!
    Best mince, veal, sausages, cold cuts – could go on. Please let it not be so.
    Where else is there a local traditional butchers in the vicinity? I tube it to Wanstead to get my supplies! Mange tout!!!!!!

  5. We spoke to Pete, the green grocer. Denis the Butcher has closed due to the rental price nearly doubling. We can thank Costa for agreeing to extortionate prices and the Chinese restaurant.

    I think we should have a community campaign (similar to the playground) to get Denis/a butcher back on our high street. It’s the community that makes Wanstead a great place to live. If the high street gets populated by chains I will definitely be selling and moving out!

    We must shop local if we want to keep our village feel community!!!

  6. I’m not 100% convinced it’s all down to rent. They had not been anything like as busy of late. I ordered meat for Christmas day, and previously on the 24th, there’d have been a queue right out into the street. When I collected mid morning, I was the only customer. What I had was not fantastic. I found the service to be a little surly at times, and was never over happy with how they handled cash (and why was it cash only?) and meat after a cursory wipe. It received a one star rating after the last hygiene inspection, which requires immediate improvement, yet they continued to display the previous 5 star sticker for some time (it was removed eventually). There is no doubt the landlords are going to kill the high st with their greed, but Dennis was very stuck in the past. There is an independent butcher near my work in Bishops Stortford. It is very classy, the meat beautifully displayed and looking amazing. The shop is immaculate. There is ALWAYS a queue.

  7. Interesting comments from 640 and I’d observed similar.

    Also with significant demographic change, .com food buying habits and plenty of high street metro-supermarkets to compete with; then any butchers needs to be something special these days.

    See Ginger Pig for today’s independent butcher benchmark.

    I think there have been some chunky rent uplifts on the high street although probably less seismic than house price rises.

  8. Have to agree with a few posters – always found them brusque and a bit rude/unhelpful so stopped spending my money there simple as that, although the quality of produce was decent.
    But must echo Ginger Pig is a fairly adequate benchmark of modern butchery and would be in my mind a very welcome outlet on the high street – just don’t grimace at the prices.

  9. I hope the Butchers return, I check to see if they are open everyday on the school run.
    Their meat was much better quality than the super markets. So convenient too!
    Please let it be an extended holiday!
    Where do I get my sausages now?

  10. Whilst it is always sad to see any independent business close down. I couldn’t agree more with a few other people on here that this place was stuck in the past and not a particularly great butcher. There was very little passion behind the products and even less interest in provenance or welfare. I asked on a number of occasions where produce had come from and if any of the meat was free range only to be met with a confused and disgruntled glare. On other occasions, I asked with enthusiasm about certain cuts and what they recommended for certain types of cooking etc and again they weren’t interested – or didn’t know themselves. If you look at what Kevin is doing with the fish shop he’s brilliant – knowledgeable, passionate, enthusiastic etc. If they had taken on board the huge shift in recent years for quality meat they’d have been able to charge more and put themselves in a stronger position to be able to cope with things like rental hikes. Butchers such as The Ginger Pig is a fine example of a modern butcher providing a first rate service – on last count they have around six or seven shops around London, almost all of which will have significantly higher rents than Wanstead High Street. With a bit of luck they’ll move into Wanstead next…

  11. There have been problems with extortionate rents for many years on the High Street, and this is not the first business that has had to close as a result. The old Enigma is a case in point.We have lost so many valuable shops over the years. I recall another butchers shop further down the high street, that was much more friendly and reasonably priced than Dennis. I have had some negative experiences with Dennis so am not that sad to see them go. This is a prime spot in the centre of the high street so I really hope it does not become yet another shop selling bits of rubbish.

  12. I am sorry to read some of the comments. Apart from one of the staff who could be a bit brusque, I always got a smile from Steve and the ladies. I feel I have lost friends as well as an excellent butchers. My BBQs will not be the same without their super sausages and 100% beef burgers. A very sad loss for Wanstead High Street.

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