Somewhere Over Knowhere closed

One of the most innovative independent cafe-bars in the postcode is now shut after a demand for a quadruple rent increase

The secret door to Knowhere Special is on the left.... Photo: HG
Now closed: a stylish independent addition to the high street. Photo: HG
Knowhere Special owners Helen and Ash won over an entire neighbourhood when they opened their diminutive basement cocktail bar eighteen months ago.

Stylish, intelligent, homely – and with a cute Jack Russell greeting customers at the door – the joint went on to garner rave reviews both for its quirky interior and bespoke creations pairing handmade artisan snacks with playful takes on classic cocktails.

Then, about a year back, the couple took over the old Mamma Mia caff upstairs and turned it into the delightfully-named Somewhere Over Knowhere, a deli, bakery and candle-lit evening restaurant. It was once again a big hit with locals, providing a characterful all-day coffee hangout as well as good-value spot for dinner. We raved about it here, in fact.

Sausage roll and the Park Bench cocktail. Photos: Stephen Emms
Imaginative pairings: sausage roll and the Park Bench cocktail. Photo: Stephen Emms
This weekend both venues closed their doors after the landlord, they say, asked for a whopping quadruple rent increase. They refused. “We fought till the end, alas,” says Helen. “But we’re sorry to say it’s all over.”

The one small glimmer of hope is that the landlord apparently has seven days to renew a reasonable lease on their innovative downstairs bar. “Considering we built it from scratch, he should,” she says, not unreasonably.

The announcement last night caused a massive outpouring on social media, with everyone from local businesses like Carrots & Daikon and Caps & Taps to hundreds of readers all voicing opinion.

We will, of course, keep you posted on the outcome. In the meantime show your support below, share the story, and let’s do our damnedest to save both Somewhere Over Knowhere and Knowhere Special from becoming yet another chain outlet.

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Follow @soknowhere and @knowherespecial on Twitter.


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