Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

bobby1413

Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by bobby1413 »

I saw the ReadingOnThames twitter post about this... and after some research found an article here:

http://www.propertyweek.com/in-depth/ma ... 92.article#

(NOTE: You have to register to see it... but I did register and it says:)
article says wrote:
HOMEIN DEPTHMARKET FEATURES
Landlords contend for a share of the Reading restaurant market

Hammerson has both sides of the waterfront tied up, with restaurant chains and coffee shops opening out from The Oracle shopping centre to both riverbanks. With no fewer than 35 places to eat at The Oracle, does the town need any more F&B space?

That is what Reading Borough Council’s planning committee will have to deliberate on 12 October when it decides whether or not to grant change-of-use consent for four of the town’s old buildings, the owners of which are hoping to convert shop units to A3 restaurants. If their wish is granted, Lloyds Banking Group premises at 1-2 Market Place, the derelict Coopers Arms pub and the disused King’s Walk shopping centre will form a new restaurant quarter.

But the most prominent change of use of the lot will be at Jacksons Corner, where the curved Victorian façade of the former EJ Jackson & Sons department store sweeps round Market Place and Kings Road. The owner, South East developer SG Capital, paid £4.5m for the former department store. It first applied for change of use in February, but is making a revised application for three ground-floor restaurants totalling 8,000 sq ft with 27 flats above.

All three of the restaurants have been leased even before the scheme gets the green light.

According to Fiona Brownfoot, director of retail and leisure at Reading commercial property consultancy Hicks Baker, the pre-lets at Jacksons Corner are at levels of rent never before seen outside The Oracle.

The three tenants, paying between £36/sq ft and £48/sq ft - compared with The Oracle’s £52/sq ft - are Franco Manca, the pizza chain, Byron and Busaba Eathai.

David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, Franco Manca’s owner, says that it is the lower rents at Jacksons Corner that makes it attractive to tenants. Fulham Shore will be paying £85,000 a year for 1,800 sq ft, the smallest of the three restaurants, which has room for 75 customers.

Compact spaces
“Units in The Oracle are a little bigger than that but we like small, compact spaces because we don’t like empty spaces, which you are likely to get in the early times of the week,” Page explains. “We also like Jacksons Corner because it is out there on its own and not in a shopping centre. We like the curved shopfront because so much of Reading is new-build.”

Franco Manca’s Reading restaurant is part of an expansion outside London along the M4 to Bristol and Bath and south to Guildford and Brighton. It is the geographical position of Reading that puts it on restaurateurs’ lists when planning expansion.

Elsewhere in the town, Andrew Strong, chief executive of Atlantis Group, which bought the King’s Walk shopping centre out of receivership for a rumoured £3m, says the centre already has consent for restaurants. He plans to open eight. “Reading has a bit of a problem because it only has chain restaurants, and people want the unique ‘London’ type of restaurant because there is a high disposable income here,” he says.

For a town that already has ample restaurant provision, introducing more could be a challenge, but if Strong is right, demand from locals could make a larger and more varied food and beverage offer a viable prospect.

So there we have it... if the council agree it, that area will change into a restaurant category and be leased out.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by pwpriory »

Amazing - it shows a. how much money there is in Reading and b. how town centres are changing............Wonder what they'll do upstairs ?
bobby1413

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by bobby1413 »

Not sure what to think here.

Never heard of these restaurants. But pleased there is already people wanting the space.

I'm pleased there are areas developing other than riverside and station hill.

I hope:

They keep the landmark ... Jacksons Corner can remain. It can just refer to literally the corner and surrounding restaurants.

Or Jacksons Quarter of you want something more fancy.
bobby1413

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by bobby1413 »

It is exciting though:

Botonist at the Barclays bank area
Restaurants at Jacksons corner and outlook pub area
Kwik fit gone and new flats there
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Mayfield »

I'm with guy who is keen on independent restaurants.....chains have their place but that seems like a pretty much catered for market...
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by ash »

bobby1413 wrote:Not sure what to think here.

Never heard of these restaurants. But pleased there is already people wanting the space.

I'm pleased there are areas developing other than riverside and station hill.

I hope:

They keep the landmark ... Jacksons Corner can remain. It can just refer to literally the corner and surrounding restaurants.

Or Jacksons Quarter of you want something more fancy.
Absolutely hope that the Jackson's Corner remains, will be very interesting to see the town centre extend east. Kings Road always seemed to be an underused area: very central, directly off Broad Street, yet the ground level activity is quite limited. Perhaps the further redevelopment of the Library site will help this in the future, too.

With regards to the restaurants, I have only heard of Byron, which is a very pleasant restaurant. Been to quite a few branches in London, and I always felt it was a bit more upmarket than most competitors. Overall, very pleased that Reading is attracting these sort of establishments.
bobby1413

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by bobby1413 »

I totally agree about Kings Road. It's one of my favourite parts of Reading in terms of how it feels and looks, but a real shame there isn't much down there.

Excited by this area being used for something decent like this
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by pwpriory »

parts of Kings Road may be OK but the bit near Broad St is horrible ! Try waiting at the bus stop there for a depressing experience, including a crowd on a metre? wide pavement at the bus shelter, competing with pedestrians.......................I must chase up my suggestion to the council that they might like to consider widening the pavements.
EdibleReading

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by EdibleReading »

All three are very good chains, and generally chains with very few if any branches outside London. That's all good, but normally when chains like that come to Reading it's a sign that they've got a big injection of capital to expand nationwide and on the cusp of jumping the shark. Let's hope that isn't the case here!
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by peterson »

EdibleReading wrote:All three are very good chains, and generally chains with very few if any branches outside London. That's all good, but normally when chains like that come to Reading it's a sign that they've got a big injection of capital to expand nationwide and on the cusp of jumping the shark. Let's hope that isn't the case here!
Let's hope they do a good job with the conversion too. Sounds like it might take a year or more to get them open. Hopefully they can widen the pavement as well.
Lw.

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Lw. »

I hope it gets the go-ahead - it's quite exciting that all these new places are opening in Reading & I think it's a good move to change the use of the area away from retail.

I used to love Franco Manca when it was an independent, not been since they changed to having more than two restaurants but I assume it'll still be good. I like Busaba too. Not so fussed about Byron, they're pretty generic but ok I guess.

I think this is all good news for Reading as a town - we needed more places like this & shows that the big companies think that Reading is worth investing in.
zag

Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by zag »

Brilliant news!

Should basically fix the problems we have been discussing in other threads about this underused area.

There is certainly a market for lower price restaurant leases outside of the oracle as their prices are so high.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Ollycat »

zag wrote:Brilliant news!

Should basically fix the problems we have been discussing in other threads about this underused area.

There is certainly a market for lower price restaurant leases outside of the oracle as their prices are so high.
And the irony - that the Weight Watchers shop across the road went out of business!
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by OLDMAN »

Mayfield wrote:I'm with guy who is keen on independent restaurants.....chains have their place but that seems like a pretty much catered for market...
Same here - we never go in chain restaurants or coffee places wherever possible
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by EdibleReading »

I think it's dangerous to generalise about chains. There are big chains and small chains, ones which do what they do very well and ones which are truly appalling. Saying all chains are bad is like saying all independent places are good - it's just not true. Buon Appetito is currently rated in the top 10 on TripAdvisor and is a deeply sub-par restaurant. If you gave me the option of going there or to Carluccio's, I'd pick Carluccio's 10 times out of 10. Of the three places opening in Reading, if they live up to the standards of London branches, they'll pretty much all be better bets than their current competition in town. Busabi does some lovely food which is much more interesting than the likes of Thai Corner or definitely Bali Lounge. I'm not really a burger enthusiast but Byron is head and shoulders above Handmade Burger, The Oakford or Five Guys (all chains themselves). And with the possible exception of Papa Gee, nowhere in Reading is going to match even Franco Manca on a bad day for pizza.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by THC »

I've had really nice sushi at Wagamama for example (admittedly in Cyprus)
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by mikejee »

I thought most people agreed that the majority of trip advisors comments were self-masturbatory manipulations anyway
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Mayfield »

As I said, chains have their place, but I like to see good, new independents too. Hard for an independent to invest the sort of cash required though....

ER, tried Tipsy Bean yet ?
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by eddieed »

OLDMAN wrote:
Mayfield wrote:I'm with guy who is keen on independent restaurants.....chains have their place but that seems like a pretty much catered for market...
Same here - we never go in chain restaurants or coffee places wherever possible
I don't understand this comment - you offten talk about having coffee and breakfast in Wetherspoons over other places - one of the biggest pub chains in the country and your local pub - whilst a franchise - is still part of Green King - one of the biggest pub companies in the country.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Ollycat »

Maybe that's more about considering Wetherspoons to be a pub, and not a restaurant; nor one of the coffee chains like Starbucks or Costa?

I don't frequent Harvesters or similar - Toby etc - but Wetherspoons seems to be different.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by chris_j_wood »

Ollycat wrote:I don't frequent Harvesters or similar - Toby etc - but Wetherspoons seems to be different.
Personally I'm quite happy to frequent chain coffee shops. But I do draw the line at Weatherspoons. As one of my friends once said after we had made the mistake of walking into a Weatherspoons that had been converted from an old coaching inn, "it is amazing how Weatherspoons can take even the most attractive building and make you feel like you are in an airport departure lounge".

I suppose it is a matter of expectation. I'm not saying that the average CostaNeroBucks has any more atmosphere but I don't need that for a quick coffee. And in any case, very few of the indie coffee shops bother to open into the early evening, which is when I tend to fancy a coffee on the way home from work.

But when I fancy a pint (or two) I do expect something more like a pub. And if Weatherspoons are open, the Hop Leaf, Foresters and Butler will all also be open. No contest.

Just my two penn'th.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by OLDMAN »

Must admit I tend not to bother within Harvesters or the like etc. as don't consider them as pubs, more eateries with beer

I treat Wetherspoon's more as brewery / pub type places even though a chain of sorts

And in all the ones I've visited around the country I don't think I've ever been in one that felt like an 'airport departure lounge' - where was that one

The majority are all decorated as 'older style' pubs, or wine / modern bar style if a Lloyds Bar

And I've been to a few where apart from the menu or the odd sign etc.. you wouldn't realise it was a Spoon's place - the Manor House Bracknell, The Greyhound Bridport and the Royal Oak in Dorchester are 3 that spring to mind - in fact the last one we walked straight past as it looked though a bit fancy, then we saw the Spoons sign and popped in for a quickie - it was equally as nice inside
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Ollycat »

I think it's a carpet thing.

Atmosphere seems to be related to noise levels, which are exacerbated by having no carpet on the floor - which is easier to clean up spills, but hell on noisy chairs being dragged about.

I see a lot of airport lounges, none of which have yet to resemble a Wetherspoons...
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by chris_j_wood »

OLDMAN wrote:And in all the ones I've visited around the country I don't think I've ever been in one that felt like an 'airport departure lounge' - where was that one
The actual case was in Stratford-u-Avon, but I reckon it applies to most of them. Certainly the Hope Tap and Back of Beyond have that feel to me. I've not been in the Monks Retreat (in ages) or Baron Cadogan (ever), so I cannot comment on them. I suppose one possible advantage is that if you go into one of the Weatherspoons bars that are actually in airport departure lounges, you can at least say "this feels just like a proper Weatherspoons". :whistle1:
OLDMAN wrote:The majority are all decorated as 'older style' pubs, or wine / modern bar style if a Lloyds Bar. And I've been to a few where apart from the menu or the odd sign etc.. you wouldn't realise it was a Spoon's place - the Manor House Bracknell, The Greyhound Bridport and the Royal Oak in Dorchester are 3 that spring to mind - in fact the last one we walked straight past as it looked though a bit fancy, then we saw the Spoons sign and popped in for a quickie - it was equally as nice inside
I certainly havn't been to any of those three, but I can honestly say that I have never, ever mistaken a Weatherspoons for a pub. At least not once I've got in them; I'll give you that some of them are quite convincing from the outside.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by eddieed »

chris_j_wood wrote:
The actual case was in Stratford-u-Avon,...
This has to be one of the worst in the country - basically they built a massive warehouse / barn on the back of a grade 2 listed building - horrendous development and should never have been allowed. It still doesn't look like an airport lounge though.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by OLDMAN »

I was going to say the same

Plus I don't think I've ever been in an airport dep't lounge that would make me think Wetherspoon (including Vilnius Airport, Lithuania nearly 15yrs ago)

And if the Spoons mentioned make you feel like that, I can only presume they where very strange dep't lounges

Can you expand on this feeling?
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Pooneil »

When I first encountered Wetherspoon pubs in the mid 80s they were a pleasant change - a decent selection of real ale, very competitive prices, and since you weren't deafened by shockingly naff 80s pop music, they tended to be free of most of the yoof of the day.
They then started doing more and more stuff cheap and making a noise about it and did a lot of cheap fried/deepfried food.
Unfortunately driving down the prices so much made them extremely popular with many on limited income, including a number who seemed to be of no fixed abode. What this meant was that by the '90s, my experience of Wetherspoons pubs was that they were predominantly full of pensioners, the unemployed and the borderline homeless. Now I've got nothing against any of these types of people, but my experience was that a pub full of them had little atmosphere and was a fairly joyless place to drink. Consequently I tended to avoid them, although occasional forays into them would usually confirm my feelings. I would add that none of these establishments was in Reading, but the experience was generally the same in many Wetherspoon pubs across the country. Honorable exceptions existed (Hamilton Hall at Liverpool Street Station, for example), but generally I found them dire and desperate. Their sister chain Lloyds No.1 is worse, since they have crappy pop music and so also attract the "backwards baseball cap" crowd.

They do seem to have picked up their act a bit in recent years - I've been happily impressed by The Four Candles in Oxford since I discovered it in 2014, and I know a couple of friends who've had good words to say recently about a couple of Wetherspoon pubs local to them.

I don't have an absolute objection to carpet in pubs, and pubular carpet isn't a Wetherspoon's invention. Not sure that they feel like airport departure lounges, but their usually large size and quite uniform decor and furnishings tend to make them feel as if they came out of a large box labelled "instant pub kit", rather than gradually evolved over decades or centuries.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by EdibleReading »

Mayfield wrote:As I said, chains have their place, but I like to see good, new independents too. Hard for an independent to invest the sort of cash required though....

ER, tried Tipsy Bean yet ?
I've been for coffee (not bad) in the day and for wine (quite nice) in the evening. I like it, I hope it does well but I do think their menu looks a bit uninspiring, the service needs to find its feet and the whole thing has a bit of an unfinished feel to it. You see this quite a lot - the Greyfriar was the same, back in the day - where places feel like they're in a rush to open and open before they're quite ready. That said, all the wine is very reasonably priced and I'd rather drink there than, for example, the Fox and Hounds.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Bushwhacker »

Most of the airside departure areas in UK airports have a motley selection of Wetherspoon style 'pubs'. Overpriced and distinctly uninspiring. However, I would observe that the inspiration for these comes from High St chains rather than the other way around.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by chris_j_wood »

Well it seems most people here don't see the similarity between Weatherspoons and departure lounges. It isn't something I can really explain, it is just that when a group of four or five of us walked into that place in Stratford and Brian said what he said, we all looked at each other and said something a bit like "by gosh and by golly, he has hit it on the nail". And the connection has stuck with me ever since.

As for the carpets thing, the one time I went into a Weatherspoons and didn't think 'airport departure lounge' was in Southend. Because I was too busy being disgusted by the way my feet stuck to the carpet. Yuck.

Although to be fair, most Weatherspoons aren't yucky nasty, they are just bland and a bit sad.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by OLDMAN »

chris_j_wood wrote:Well it seems most people here don't see the similarity between Weatherspoons and departure lounges. It isn't something I can really explain, it is just that when a group of four or five of us walked into that place in Stratford and Brian said what he said, we all looked at each other and said something like "by gosh, he has hit it on the nail". And the connection has stuck with me ever since.

As for the carpets thing, the one time I went into a Weatherspoons and didn't think 'airport departure lounge' was in Southend (Brian was again responsible, and should know better, 'cos he comes from there). And the reason is because I was being too disgusted by the way my feet stuck to the carpet. Yuck.

Although to be fair, most Weatherspoon aren'y yucky nasty, they are just bland.
Ah I've a funny feeling why now

Although I've seen this in other pubs it does seem to be a Spoon's phenomenon - queuing!

Not sure why but many people using them do seem to think you have to queue up to the bar in a line rather that just walk up and wait your turn

I wonder if its because they are used to queueing in restaurants / cafes / coffee bars etc. but have gone in the pub instead, its certainly strange to see in a pub
And the others I've seen this happen in, tend to be food biased places so again maybe the same reason

As for Spoons themselves I tend to agree with Pooneil, they did go 'off' for a while in certain towns but have got better (but not all)

Worst one we visited was Hastings - it felt like a hastily converted shop, it was very grubby and cold - we had a drink then left rather than eat there

Many we've been to are quite large but I think its due to the building they've taken over - the Savoy in Swindon is a good example as its an old cinema, and very big

But we've also been to some that are quite small - the Old Manor House in Bracknell / Bear in Maidenhead are good examples of that

Location helps make or break them, as Poo says many get a lowlife customer base but its usually those in town centres and near Social Service offices etc. - others on the outskirts tend to get better clientele
Again the Old Manor in Bracknell but also with BOB, the Bear in Maidenhead or the Baron Cadogan are all examples of this
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by ReadingT »

Wetherspoons are dirt cheap and so they attract a certain loyal crowd of alcoholics, lowlifes and students. That's not to say all people who use them fit into those categories but a disproportionate amount of their clientele do.

I also live right next to the Baron Cadogan and haven't gone in there for years even though a friend tried to recommend me their breakfasts a couple of months ago...

Between the ages of 17-20 I used them almost exclusively with mates at home and uni, then branched out as I wanted somewhere that did nicer food and drink because I could afford it.

I completely get the comparison between them and airport lounge bars, if only because they often are Wetherspoons copies or the real deal themselves.

I've been to one nice 'Spoons since which is next to Putney Bridge and it did table service when it first opened. This had changed back to "order at the bar" by the second time I visited!
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by Jack Strop »

EdibleReading wrote: 19 Sep 2016 15:16 And with the possible exception of Papa Gee, nowhere in Reading is going to match even Franco Manca on a bad day for pizza.
Bit of a shame Franco Manca pulled out of Jacksons, but opting for Debenhams along with The Real Greek has revitalised that stretch of the Oracle Riverside. Interesting to see what the third restaurant at Jacksons will now be.

Franco Manca itself is pretty damn good. Lovely pizzas, succinct menu, good pricing. I can see its near neighbour Pizza Express struggling in that spot now, I've certainly switched my loyalties.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by chris_j_wood »

Jack Strop wrote: 20 Jun 2017 06:38 Bit of a shame Franco Manca pulled out of Jacksons, but opting for Debenhams along with The Real Greek has revitalised that stretch of the Oracle Riverside. Interesting to see what the third restaurant at Jacksons will now be.

Franco Manca itself is pretty damn good. Lovely pizzas, succinct menu, good pricing. I can see its near neighbour Pizza Express struggling in that spot now, I've certainly switched my loyalties.
Yes, I noticed at the weekend that Franco Manca and The Real Greek had opened along the Debenham's bit of the Riverside. Both look really good, and there has obviously been some money spent to make sure that the area looks nice and has decent outside seating with awnings, rather than the 'cafe in the basement of a department store' look that used to be there. Looking forward to trying them both out.
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Re: Jackson's Corner - to be a new "restaurant quarter"?

Post by readingguy »

The unit previously earmarked for Franco Manca is now tipped to become London based Peruvian restaurant 'Ceviche'.

http://www.cevicheuk.com
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