When Heston Blumenthal moved to Barnes he quickly cottoned on to the fact that the Barnes Londis (now Barnes Pantry) is not your average local convenience store. He waxed lyrical about the wine selection in an interview which highlighted some of London’s hidden gastronomic gems.
And it’s true, it is a gastronomic gem. Visitors to Barnes who pop into Londis expecting value packs of frozen peas come out surprised when what they see are Perello olives and authentic Italian Salcicce.
At the end of this month Londis will be closing its doors; not for good, but for a re-design and refit. It will emerge at the beginning on May as the Barnes Pantry, a beautifully designed shop stocking everything the current Londis offers and more.
The staff and ownership isn’t changing either, it’s just the name.
Nationwide Londis is a franchise business so whichever Londis you go to anywhere in the country it will be independently owned. Our local Londis is a family business that has been in Barnes for over thirty years now and over the past few years a new younger generation has taken on the business and looked at it with fresh eyes hence plans to re-design and expand the shop.
When the Barnes Pantry opens in May you expect more floor space as the shop floor is going to be expanded by reducing the size of the store’s stockroom. You will also find an even bigger array of artisan ingredients. It’s still going to stock all of the essentials but it’s going to be even more of a treasure trove for keen cooks and foodies.
In style there will be more of an artisan feel too, expect natural wood finishes and some lovely table displays.
However, it will still be resolutely local and committed to supplying what its customers want. Owner Saini and the shop’s staff always listen to customer requests and when they don’t stock something that a customer asks for, nine times out of ten, they seek out the missing product and add it to their stock list.
“We’re so excited about the changes we’re making” says Preeti Chandegra who is overseeing the revamp.”It’s going to be a lovely place to stock up on food with the same great staff and even more interesting selection of products. It will be the same shop that people love already, just even better.”