Lewes Forum thread

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Le Magazin

On 15 Nov 2012 at 1:41pm brixtonbelle wrote:
This nice little cafe/ coffee bar has annoyed me by deciding to section off part of the Cliffe High St pavement with flexible barriers around its (one) outside bench/table. I have no objection to them having tables and chairs on the pavement as long as its realised that this a public thoroughfare and punters may have to move to allow pedestrians to pass by. Annexing part of the pavement in such a way is just not on. As someone who has difficulty walking, being forced onto the cobbles by blockages on the flat pavement is extremely irritating. It's becoming harder to walk down the street with all the vans that park on the pavement as well. I'm not even going to bother to raise this with the local council as I have little faith that anything will be done.
Rant over.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 2:19pm Penguin wrote:
There seems to be an incredible amount of traffic down there, and you take your life in your hands just walking along what is allegedly a 'pedestrianised' road. They should block it off with removable bollards at Bills so that people using Comet or just looking for a shortcut could not get through, but legitimate vehicles, delivery vans etc., could still have access from South Street end of the road. If absolutely necessary the bollards could be removed temporarily to allow any particularly large vehicles access from the other direction, and of course to allow the Cliffe Tableau to pass! Some sort of enforcement of parking restrictions would be a good idea too. At the moment it seems to be a free car park in the centre of town.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 2:42pm brixtonbelle wrote:
They really do need to have some sort of enforcement in stopping cars turning right across Cliffe bridge and using it as a cut-through. Maybe even a camera ? There's too many bloody 4x4 going down there. But the problem with changing the priority or blocking off the road at either end with vans then having to turn around and go back.
There should be very clear NO ENTRY signs from the Greyfriars car park for cars/motorbikes, with business deliveries or disabled/ resident access only. Theres no other reason for anyone to drive down there and there are plenty of local carparks to allow people to collect shopping etc.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 2:49pm Taff wrote:
Penguin, traffic has right to enter to load and unload as well as access to dwellings. It is not exclusively for pedestrians. Cyclists are allowed to use it in both directions. Alledgedly! I have even seen cars driving the wrong way through recently.
There are no double yellow lines so one assumes any parking is not an issue? God forbid they put yellows in such a wonderful street.
Access for service vehicles is required at all times so bollards may not be appropriate. However the Cliffe tab must always have access when needed. Personally I dont think that what has been done has been the best for Cliffe High St.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 3:08pm Jane S wrote:
Sounds as if between you you've evolved the perfect solution: get Le Magasin to put their bench & table in the middle of the street, leaving the pavement free for pedestrians and stopping the traffic...... :-)
On 15 Nov 2012 at 4:02pm Penguin wrote:
I appreciate that the shops need deliveries Taff, and that occupants might need to get a vehicle outside their dwelling from time to time, but what is wrong with reversing up the road? This works perfectly well in Shoreham where they have pedestrianised East Street in the last year or two, and that can only be accessed from one end (and I have to say it looks a lot nicer than Cliffe High Street!). I understand drivers of some larger vehicles might feel they are too big to do this, hence my suggestion of removable bollards, however I doubt that very large vehicles can go down Cliffe High Street even now as they would be too heavy to go over the bridge.
I agree that what has been done is not for the best, because what we have now is what on the face of it appears to be a pedestrianised zone, but which still has a fairly steady traffic flow! For visitors who are not aware of the situation, or for children that don't realise that there will be cars driving down there, it is really quite dangerous - especially when there are other obstructions (eg. Bills / Le Magasin / Mays) to negotiate.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 5:03pm Southover Queen wrote:
The fact is that most of the traffic going down there is doing so illegally. You can watch them come over the bridge and drive straight down Cliffe High Street and down to the bottom. They're not residents: they're just lazy. The police fined dozens of them a few weeks ago, including one shopkeeper who said that her husband needed to pick her up at the door because she was carrying a laptop.

The signs by the Waterside are quite clear: no entry except for access. It's just that for some reason a lot of drivers have decided that it doesn't apply to them. I'd welcome a campaign of police harassment, to be honest. As it is it's a dangerous mess.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 5:47pm Sussex Jim wrote:
I had occasion to do some work in a shop there recently. I parked by van legitimately in the area off the main "road" which is marked out for service vehicles by coloured bricks in the pavement. Nobody complained.
If I have to do this again and the only place to park is by illegal chairs and tables, so be it. If Brixtonbelle complains to me, I will push those tables aside so she can pass.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 6:12pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
My understanding is that you are allowed to drive up there and stop if you are loading or unloading.
There may well be car parks fairly near, but none of them are close enough for me to lug a polypin of Harveys or a 15kg sack of dog food to, so I drive up and load them into my car.
I agree it's abused though, I see a lot of vehicles just drive straight through. The other week, the idiots on Antiques Road Trip parked right outsdie the Emporium. I daresay the camera crew did as well.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 7:04pm Dave wrote:
Court Road area residents use it as their route to Tescos to avoid 2 sets of traffic lights
Who should be enforcing it anyway?
On 15 Nov 2012 at 8:12pm Lewes fan wrote:
I totally agree about the barriers taking up half the pavement, Le Magazin seem to think that they can take over the Cliffe without a thought for the public, residents or other shop owners, I see that Browns can no longer put their sign opposite the alleyway thanks to Le Magazine. It is definitely becoming dangerous in the Cliffe.
On 15 Nov 2012 at 9:44pm the old mayor wrote:
I think that me and Mrs Old Mayor may be to blame here. We may have inadvertently bought a fairly large chunk of that CafĂ©'s barrier on Saturday last. We shared a very small Cheese and Ham Sandwich and had a small bottle of Apple and Elderflower drink each. The bill came to £11.95 !!
On 15 Nov 2012 at 10:10pm Lewes fan wrote:
How on earth can they justify those sorts of prices, such a rip off??????
On 15 Nov 2012 at 10:17pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
ACT - I am very surprised at you - surely you can park in the car park behind Harvey's or by the church and ask one of the lovely staff to carry your beer for you - or maybe get a shopper / trolley bag ? Unless of course you are disabled in which case I apologise
On 15 Nov 2012 at 11:51pm PolarBearSoup wrote:
Lewes fan - they can't justify their prices. The fact is that the cafe was bought by a man who then gave it to his daughters to run as a pet project. Rumour has it that each coffee is stirred by the silver spoons that they were born with in their mouths!
On 16 Nov 2012 at 7:53am Lewes Fan wrote:
Polarbearsoup, they are exactly the type of people who are happy to walk all over everyone and do whatever they want..... Bring back the old owner!!!!
On 16 Nov 2012 at 10:24am Realist wrote:
le magazine must have applied for and received a council permit to fence off the area - just like their multiple competitor in the Cliffe Precinct. They will have paid a large fee for this, unlike the traders in the Precinct Saturday Souk, who have no permit and pay no rent, taxes or rates. I too mourn the loss of Gordon, but don't miss his habitual short-changing!
On 16 Nov 2012 at 6:00pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Apology accepted BB - I'm well decrepit and can't lift or carry stuff of any significant weight.
On 19 Nov 2012 at 5:55pm Frenglish homme wrote:
Vous et so cynical mes braves, Le Magasin prendre le taste et l'ambience of La Belle France - and les prices aussi!
Aussi c'est possible that the curtilage du property extends onto part of le promenade.
On 19 Nov 2012 at 8:33pm Le Magasin wrote:
Hello from Frankie, Maddie and Joe at Le Magasin!
While it is lovely for us to hear all the positive feedback from our happy customers and traders in the Cliffe, we do have to address the less positive comments. All feedback is good feedback; we are all young and working very hard. We want to learn from everything that we do â?? we certainly do not wish to upset or alienate anybody.
First of all, we are sorry we have caused such upset amongst you. We do intend no harm of course and would like to invite you in for a coffee and a chat about the windbreaks if you wish, we are nice people and certainly do not want to make the Cliffe seem dangerous to anybody!
However, we realise you do not all have time to come in and speak to us so I will try and clear up a few things here. As Realist is right in saying, we have paid a fee for 1.6m from the building line of our property for; windbreaks, tables and chairs to be placed. The same distance which the previous owners, Kevin and Liz, were permitted also. This is approximately (and very close to) half of the paved walkway area, if this were potentially a threat to anyone then we would not have placed our windbreaks there. Also the council and highways department would also not have allowed us to place anything on the pavement.
As for our prices, we try to offer good value for money at Le Magasin. We source local food where possible and try to ensure we provide the best quality food, coffee and service we can. We believe in good food, and many of our customers would not be happy if they werenâ??t served the best quality food from the local area in our cafĂ©. Again, I invite you in to try our delicious food and a coffee to talk personally with myself, Frankie or Maddie.
We are young and really trying our best to make everybody happy, inside and outside of the café. Hopefully see and speak to you all soon,
The Le Magasin team!
On 19 Nov 2012 at 9:34pm local wrote:
Good god! Windbreaks, my ar*e! Be honest- they're space-claiming advertising hoardings, and they know it.
On 20 Nov 2012 at 5:19pm Jane S wrote:
I take Le Magasin's point about the space that they've paid for; but please, Le Magasin, take away the fences (which is what these things are). We like to see informal pavement tables and chairs - that's all traditional and accepted; but don't fill our High Street with hardware. Thank you!
On 21 Nov 2012 at 12:06pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
I agree - the 'windbreaks' look horrible. More suited to a continental beach cafe (where they might be needed) than a mediaeval conservation area where they are not. No objection to table and chairs which are easily pushed aside if they cause an obstruction.
And le Magazin - the last time I was in your cafe, the coffee was the most expensive in Lewes (2.60) and in a small teacup. The food under the previous owners (mackerel salad for a fiver for example), seemed much better value.
Having said that, most other coffee shops in Lewes are also expensive - the competition here seems to drive prices up, not down. No wonder people want chains like Costa. I buy good latte in London for 1.60 a (small) beaker from an independent trader. If you were offering prices like that you would be inundated.
On 21 Nov 2012 at 4:22pm Sussex Jim wrote:
It seems to me that a lot of shops in Lewes are being bought as an investment by rich men as playthings for their offspring. Their clientele are invariably DFL's with their Chelsea tractors, idling away their day while hubby cleans up in the city.
Fortunately there are still oases for the proletariat. The Gardeners arms in the Cliffe, and the Brewer's Arms at the other end of the High Street where you can get coffee or tea for half the price.
On 21 Nov 2012 at 9:47pm Local wrote:
So which other shops then? Or are you just guessing?
On 22 Nov 2012 at 2:39pm Tricky wrote:
Maybe all valid points but I hand it to Frankie, Maddie and Joe at Le Magasin for having the courage to respond to comments made and offer to discuss them in person if desired. Personally I don't go into Le Shop (why would I when the Gardeners is so close?) but I wish them well. After all, if they go under then we can expect some rival to Costa Fortune to open up at some point and what would they being to Cliffe? Bugger all's wot. I just hope the new owners are a bit more friendly than the previous who seemed to be permanently advertising for new staff! Wonder why...
On 23 Nov 2012 at 9:40am Eggbert Nobacon wrote:
I think Bills currently charges £1.60 for a takeout coffee.
On 23 Nov 2012 at 9:51am Dave wrote:
I applaud Le Magasins tenacity and their prices, Costa and the non tax paying multinationals charge extortionate rates for coffee and the surroundings are like McDonalds in the 80s. They are the ones we should be complaining about and boycotting
I would much rather my money went to young people working hard to make a go of it themselves and I really don't care where their startup loan came from.

I don't work ther or know them btw. I haven't been in there actually since it was Gordons, now that was a real shop!

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