Mare Street Narroway see's queues for Primark and independent shops reopen on April 12

Hackney shop's open sign.

Hackney shops, leisure centres and hairdressers and outdoor hospital venues opened their doors as part of the government's roadmap out of Lockdown. - Credit: Holly Chant

The reopening of Hackney shops, hairdressers, leisure centres and outdoor beer gardens saw a line of customer’s queuing up to visit the Narroway’s Primark on April 12. 

While some shoppers said they were happy to wait in the retail giant's queue, others browsed independent stores like vintage clothing boutique, Paper Dress Vintage.

Nathalie Punter, 28 , who works at the vintage clothes shop, which doubled as a music venue pre-Covid, said: “It’s nice seeing our customers again.”

She added that during lockdown Paper Dress Vintage had turned to online sales, so she and other staff had been busy preparing the “physical stuff” last week for the reopening.

Nathalie Punter works at vintage boutique and music venue Paper Dress Vintage. 

Nathalie Punter works at vintage boutique and music venue Paper Dress Vintage. - Credit: Holly Chant

Owner of Super Grows Cosmetics on Mare Street, Muhammed Mohin however, said business had been “very quiet” so far.

He had opened his shop a few days before the first lockdown and said: “That was heart-breaking.”

Muhammed, however, has another shop just three doors down from his new store on Mare Street, which he said was much busier.

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“The other shop has been open for 20 odd years, this one is brand new and not a lot of people know about it so that’s why it is not very busy,” he said.

Super Grows Hair and Accessories shop in the Narroway on Mare Street.

Super Grows Hair and Accessories shop in the Narroway on Mare Street. - Credit: Holly Chant

Some Hackney residents like forager and legend Jonathan Cook, more commonly known as John The Poacher, took advantage of the recent lifting of some Covid restrictions by visiting a local pub.

John, who lives near Springfield Gardens in Upper Clapton and has lived in Hackney for 38 years, said: “I thought I would drop in and have a pint at [Hackney Tap]. It’s nice to have a pint that’s on draught rather than having to have it out of bottles or cans.” 

Jonathan Cook, known as John The Poacher, stopped by the newly opened Hackney Top to have a pint. 

Jonathan Cook, known as John The Poacher, stopped by the newly opened Hackney Top to have a pint. - Credit: Holly Chant

John said of the reopening: It’s good. I just hope a lot of [local shops and pubs] can survive.

"Everyone now has got so used to using the Internet which might still hinder a lot of the shops."

The newly opened Hackney Tap, formerly a betting shop and once the first Hackney Town Hall, was also visited by Hackney’s speaker Kam Adams and Labour councillor for Hackney Central ward, Vincent Stops.

Hackney's speaker Kam Adams has an orange juice at Hackney Tap. 

Hackney's speaker Kam Adams has an orange juice at Hackney Tap. - Credit: Holly Chant

The speaker, who had ordered an orange juice, said: “It’s very nice for us to support our local businesses looking at what has happened in the past year."

Councillor Stops added that the beer was “fab” and said: “We are all so pleased that [the pub] is no longer a betting shop.

“People can sit down have a chat, it is great fun and, it has brought a fantastic building into good use.”

Shoppers t on April 12 queue for the Narroway's Primark for non-essential items.  

Some shoppers ventured out on April 12 to shop in stores for the first time in months with many happy to queue for the Narroway's Primark for non-essential items. The Queue extends beyond McDonalds and Marks & Spencer's. - Credit: Holly Chant

Shoppers outside Erbiller Jewellers in Hackney Narroway. 

Shoppers outside Erbiller Jewellers in Hackney Narroway. - Credit: Holly Chant

Paper Dress Vintage on Mare Street. 

Paper Dress Vintage on Mare Street. - Credit: Holly Chant

Hackney shoppers browse independent vintage shops like Paper Dress Vintage. 

Hackney shoppers browse independent vintage shops like Paper Dress Vintage. - Credit: Holly Chant


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