Relax! Eat17 are still opening in Leytonstone

Over the summer they tweeted about how excited they were to be opening in ‘Leyton’. Oops

How the scrubbed-up building may look. Photo: Twitter
Been away over August? Or simply had a much-needed social meedja holiday? Well, you may have missed something of a minor kerfuffle on Twitter over whether acclaimed grocers-slash-restaurateurs Eat17 were opening in the old Shoeworld shop – or, shock horror, jumping ship to Leyton.

It all started when Eat17’s seemingly confused social media person tweeted (now deleted) that they were looking forward to opening in, um, Leyton.

Cue a stream of rightfully wronged Leytonstoners lining up to establish whether the E11 store had been shelved or not; and if the group were taking over an additional space in say, Francis Road too.

After a brief palaver it emerged that it was all a simple mistake – and that it was Leytonstone High Road all along.

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So far, so meh. But the reason for the delay – it was meant to open next month – is that it’s “part of a larger development on the site and due to take occupation in March next year,” said the spokesperson. “We can’t wait to get in and sorry for any confusion.”

Some readers weren’t impressed, however. “Muddling up Leyton and Leytonstone is like saying Liam Neeson was great in Bladerunner,” quipped the delightfully named @edwin_spindrift.

“I’m sorry,” pleaded the Eat17 social media person. “Bring on the Shoeworld takeover!”

Lots of counter stools guaranteed. Photo: Eat17.
Indeed. So who are they anyway? A family-run business, Eat17 started a decade back in 2006 when brothers James Brundle and Chris O’Connor opened a neighbourhood bistro and grocery in Orford Road.

Since then the convenience store, restaurant and condiments connoisseurs have added locations in Hackney and Whitstable to their foodie empire, brought the world bacon jam (an award-winning relish that’s just the thing for tarting up savoury food) and bagged a whole bunch of awards along the way.

Shoeworld, which closed recently, was housed in an art deco building that will be restored to all its glory (see image above).

The building originally belonged to the Gas, Light and Coke Co, and was designed by George Grey Wornum, the architect behind the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) headquarters at 66 Portland Place.

Fast forward to 2018 and as well as a shop and restaurant there’ll be a “surprise”, say Eat17, too. Guess we’ll have to wait till next year to find out.

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Spar & Eat17 open 676-678 Leytonstone High Road E11 in Spring 2018. Follow @eat_17 for the latest.
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