Category Archives: Restaurants

Cameo Cafe

Cafe/restaurant that was at 8 Upper Green East until 1940, then at 197 London Road.

In September 1940 the cafe was badly damaged from the bomb that destroyed the Mitcham Methodist Church. It was reopened at 197 London Road. Mrs Isobel POPAY ran the cafe from 1934 to 1942, when she died, aged 62. Source: Norwood News – Friday 22 May 1942, page 8.

This 1953 photo shows Mitcham Baths on right and further along, on the same side of the London Road, the block numbered 195 to 201. A ‘restaurant’ sign can be seen on the second from the far end property, this is number 197. This clip is from a Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Streets_​Lon_​38-47

An ad for an assistant cook in Norwood News – Friday 03 March 1961 showed its phone number was MIT 3359. The 1954 telephone directory shows it at 197 London Road. From around the mid-1980s to 2012 this shop was Ossie’s Taverna.

In a news item from the Norwood News – Friday 15 January 1932, the proprietor of the cafe was Mr Norton. The item was about an argument at a wedding reception that led to an assault, and went to court. From a comment on the Facebook Mitcham History Group, there was a function room upstairs that was used for wedding receptions etc.

1953 OS map showing the London Road. On the left hand side of the road is no. 224 ‘Day Nursery’, which is Eagle House. The block of 4 shops/flats north of the Public Baths shows No. 197 at the second from the far end. The entrance to the Baptist Church was built on in 1962/3.

An advert in the  Norwood News – Friday 19 February 1932 for a piano gives the address of the cafe as number 8 Upper Green East.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Ossie’s Taverna

Kebab and steak restaurant that was at 197 London Road, possibly from mid 1980s to 2012. It had a take away counter on the right, and a seating area on the left. The steaks were good and inexpensive, as was the wine. Telephone orders were taken for home delivery of steak as well as kebabs.

Clip from Merton Memories phot reference Mit_​8_​1-40, around 1987.

Google StreetView history shows number 197 as Ossie’s Taverna up to July 2012. In June 2014 it is a Polish shop called Silesia, and from June 2016 a chicken shop called “Wings and Things”.

Tea Cosy coffee shop

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, April 17th, 1936

‘Tea Cosy’ coffee shop, at corner of London Road & Morden road, to disappear for reconstruction of railway bridge at Mitcham station.

Mrs M. Cottle, 87, owned the shop for 27 years. “When I came here the place was just a village and business was remarkably good. I used to serve many lorry drivers here but now they can’t pull up here, so I don’t get their custom so much.”

“Some people say I should retire, but I should be thoroughly miserable with nothing to do. I have the best of health, and while I feel as I do at present I want to keep busy.”

1957 : Human skull found in Eveline Tea Rooms Coal Shed

He found a human skull in coal shed

A HUMAN skull, wrapped in paper, was found by a man in his coal shed on Tuesday.
The skull, thought to be that of a woman or child, was discovered by Mr. Jack Dann, London Road, Mitcham, while he was clearing away rubbish in his shed behind the Eveline Tea Rooms. The parcel, loosely tied with string, was among some billiard cues, firewood and old sacks.

“ When I picked it up I imagined it was an old rugger ball, but through the paper wrapping I could see some teeth protruding,” said Mr. Dann. “ At first I thought it was animal’s skull.” Mr. Dann, who was a male nurse in the Royal Army Medical Corps, examined it more closely and realised it was a human skull.

The skull, which has a dent in the top, has been taken to Tooting police this week.

The piles of rubbish had been put temporarily in the coal-shed by local builders who were decorating a small storage room.

When they distempered the inside of the building that had been blackened by a fire last year, they found the rubbish stacked in a cavity in the wall.

Note: More than 50 years ago, there was a famous murder in Prospect Road, near the cafe. The name was then changed to Eveline Road.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 8th March, 1957

Skull still not identified

The identity and age of the skull found in a coal shed by a Mitcham man has not yet been determined.

The skull, which was handed to a coroner’s court after being found by Mr Jack Dann, London Road, is still being examined.

“It may be used for medical purposes or destroyed,” said a policeman.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 15th March, 1957

McDonalds

First McDonalds restaurant opened in Mitcham in 1988 at 1 Majestic Way. It closed after 24 years on 8th September 2012. When questioned about the closure on their website, they replied:

Closing the Mitcham McDonald’s restaurant was not a decision we took lightly, but as we constantly review our estate, we decided not to renew it’s lease. There is another restaurant in Tooting which is only 1.7 miles away. With over 1,200 restaurants across the UK, it’s essential that we continue to have the right restaurants in the right places to ensure we stay relevant and convenient for our customers.

Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​5_​1-63 copyright London Borough of Merton

Joy’s Cafe

From the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette, 28th March, 1973

"THE derelict cafe - more an eyesore than a joy"

“THE derelict cafe – more an eyesore than a joy”

HEALTH HAZARD PROTEST

JOY’S “PLACE” was once a popular transport cafe. But now it’s got a new use — as one of the dirtiest unofficial public conveniences in Mitcham, claim angry local residents.

The cafe is on a site at the corner of Christchurch-road and Phipps Bridge-road. It closed 18 months ago, but so far there’s no sign of the building being demolished and the site cleared.

“They should put a match to the place. It’s disgusting. It’s a loo for all and sundry and a rubbish dump. The place has become an eyesore and the sooner it goes the better. Everyone round here has become fed up with it” said Mrs Doreen Sparrowhawk, who runs a greengrocers shop opposite the site.

“By now it must be full of disease and germs — but because there is no door on the place children go and play in it” she added.

Mr Michael Tuhill, who runs a newsagents in Christchurch-road, said: “It’s an unofficial public convenience. People pull up in cars and use it and it’s getting a bad name. The council don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it but its a health hazard as children play in and out of it as well. Heaven knows what they could pick up by playing in it.”

‘Filthy place’

Mrs Shelly Condron, who runs a hairdressers opposite the cafe, said that lorry drivers who used to eat at the cafe when it was open now use it as a lavatory.

“We’ve spoken to them about it but you just get a lot of lip back. Its a filthy place and everyone round here would like to see something done about it.” she said.

The door of the cafe was torn off soon after it was closed. Now, it is full of rubbish with chairs and tables left inside broken.

“No-one knows what happened to the people who ran it. I think the proprietress died and one day it shut up and has been closed and like that ever since” said Mrs Sparrowhawk.

A spokesman for Merton’s surveyors department said that they were aware that there were problems arising from the derelict cafe. But there are redevelopment problems on this site and consequently there has had to be a delay on a development decision. But as soon as we are able to do so the site will be cleared” he said.