Mapp and Weston were a single branch estate agents in East Street. Now they have integrated a Barista Bar into the shop and out onto the pavement. I am not sure how long ago the conversion took place and the Mapp and Weston website doesn’t acknowledge it yet. Idon’t know that Horsham needs another coffee outlet and I am unclear as to the intended relationship between the Barista Bar and the estate agency. The sign is curiously written as Mapp & Weston @ The Barista Bar. However, I do wish them good luck.
Another new restaurant and takeaway has opened in Queen’s Street. It’s called Maeme’s Piri Piri and sells what it describes as healthy fresh grilled food. From the outside it looks like a healthy chicken and burger version of a cross between KFC, Nandos and MacDonalds – but I have not eaten there yet.
I went to visit Piries Place last week and found it looking like a ghost town. It’s true to say it never really recovered when Waitrose relocated but it seems like a few more shops have run for the hills or, at least, wandered over to Swan Walk.
Broadbridges and B52s are still in place as is Louise Stone Opticians and the Ceramic Shack Pottery Studio. Harris Lord appears to be upstairs still.
The reason for the exodus could be the redevelopment works that are going to start soon. An ‘Everyman’ three-screen cinema is replacing the Waitrose store, together with new retail, restaurant, and drinking units. A 92 room Premier Inn is going next door. Additionally there is some chatter about improving the adjacent multi-storey car park.
The metal and glass canopies that covered about 30% of the inner yard has been dismantled and removed from the site. Mr Pirie, his donkey and the cart are still there and the building contractors assure us that they will be well cared for during the works.