Posts Tagged ‘Sincil Street’

200 Degrees Lincoln exclusive launch party

March 1, 2019

200 Degrees, two coffee shops in Nottingham, a small chain of a little over half a dozen coffee shops. 200 Degrees Lincoln when open brings the tally to eight coffee shops.

The degree to which coffee is hyped is inversely proportional to its quality. The degree to which 200 Degrees Lincoln has been hyped bodes ill and actually does them no favours.

According to Jennie Holland PR their hype has reached over eight million people. Knock off two zeros and it would still be a greatly exaggerated figure. I doubt a reach of 8,000. And reach is not engagement. If we look at engagement, comments on social media, re-posts, re-tweets, we are down another two orders of magnitude.

Maybe PR agencies believe their own bullshit. Someone has to. It would be interesting to see the evidence to support their ludicrous claim of eight million, how it was measured. If you make ridiculous claims, which no doubt looks good to clients, then be prepared to back with hard data.

The PR agency lacks any understanding of social media algorithms. I receive at least once a day unsolicited tweets from Nespresso, maybe every few days on facebook.

How many times for 200 Degrees? Zero.

Neither as their infamous tweet shows have they any understanding of how to effectively use hashtags.

And the PR agency missed a trick by not making use of the large screen at the bus station or the screen at the train station. Though the screen at the train station badly positioned, not seen as walk in and exit via a different route.

How to pour money down the drain without really trying.

The irony is, apart from not doing 200 Degrees any favours, all 200 Degrees had to do was release a corporate press release to the local hacks and the scribblers would have regurgitated the press release as news.

The irony is open a new coffee shop, people will try, if they like will return with their friends, if not tell their friends the coffee is bad. A window of opportunity of maybe a couple of weeks. Word of mouth.

The launch party was claimed to be an exclusive event. Exclusivity is measured by those excluded, not by those invited. The infamous tweet from the PR agency implicitly invited the world. So much for an exclusive event. More PR bullshit.

Around three o’clock I was surprised to find a barrier in Sincil Street outside 200 Degrees Lincoln and the windows covered, the door closed.

The door opened to let a couple of people out and I was welcomed in.

Not many people. Whether busy during the day I do not know.

A large number of staff. But that was everyone, not as the coffee shop will be when open.

I have watched the coffee shop change over the last couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago an empty shell. I did not think it would be finished in time, but the shopfitters assured me it would be.

Early this week it was starting to take shape.

Today, still not quite finished, not all the gear in place, no tables and chairs out in the back yard.

But due credit to the designers for an excellent job.

Contrary to what Brian of Brian’s Coffee Spot writes, all their coffee shops are not the same and nothing worse than trying to create a corporate image.

What struck me was the open space, a mezzanine floor.

It was very much as I am used to in the best coffee shops in Athens.

The main difference the layout of where the coffee is brewed. In Athens, the barista is central, open to the coffee drinkers to watch their coffee being prepared, and better for engagement between barista and coffee drinker.

The serving area a lateral inversion that is mirror image of 200 Degrees Nottingham Station. The other difference on the left as walk in not on the right.

No long row of upholstered seats as 200 Degrees Nottingham Station. Instead tables and chairs, higher tables and stools, and a long table in the middle which for the launch party was used to display their food.

What I missed was the raised seating area of 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, light and airy, overlooking Nottingham Canal.

The one thing I did not like was the display panel for courses covering the first window on the right as walk in and thus cutting down the natural light. The one mistake in an otherwise excellent design. The display panel should be on a wall

I ordered a V60. I was asked which coffee I would like. I let them choose and an Ethiopian single origin was chosen.

I then had a wander upstairs and was invited into their training room. I think three training machines. Pay for a course and for their own staff to not only train on but use for practice.

Note: Four training machines.

For the punters courses in use of French press, V60 and aeropress. I would like to see Japanese syphon added.

This is excellent as shows people how to make coffee at home, and that not too difficult, skill and practice, and far better coffee than will ever achieve with a Nespresso machine. All for an initial outlay of V60, digital scales, swan-neck kettle and a hand grinder. And of course a bag of high quality single origin coffee beans.

The mezzanine floor if not used for training would make an excellent seating area.

My V60 was cooling down as we were looking at what was available, but that was ok, V60 improves as it cools (though not once cold).

I popped out as everything closes in Sincil Street at four, then popped back and had a cappuccino.

The person who served it to me, spilt down the side apologised and a second cappuccino was made. How it should be. Never serve a coffee that is not at its best.

I would recommend always choose the guest coffee, but ask that roasted to suit espresso.

The coffee is ethically sourced.

Interesting conversation with different staff. Their head coffee roaster was there but had left when I popped back. A pity as I would have liked to have discussed their roast profiles.

There will be seating out in their back yard and out the front in Sincil Street. Hopefully these areas will be No Smoking.

The back yard is work in progress. It needs greenery, plants in pots, trellis with trailing flowers on the walls.

Any coffee shop that opens serving good coffee is to be welcome as it shows people what is possible, that coffee is not an unpleasant bitter drink that has to be dosed with sugar and syrups and dowsed in chocolate to make palatable, nor is coffee served scalding hot.

Anyone who drinks in the corporate chains serving undrinkable coffee will be in for a pleasant surprise.

A comparison locally would be Stokes at The Lawn.

Not in the same league as Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle, but better than other indie coffee shops in Lincoln. These days if going to open a coffee shop serving bad coffee on a hiding to nothing as already have the corporate chains serving bad coffee.

My V60 and cappuccino was brewed by their head of training. Whether they will be able to achieve this level of quality consistently is the real measure.

The food and cakes as 200 Degrees Nottingham, freshly prepared on site.

I would hope though they will give their kitchen leeway to develop their own dishes with locally sourced ingredients. For example Lincolnshire sausages sourced from the farm shop in Bailgate or the butcher at Heighington, bread from a local bakery, cheese from The Cheese Society, seasonal vegetables for soups from the local market stalls.

Apologies few pictures of what it looks like. 200 Degrees asked that I did not take pictures to allow it to be a surprise for visitors on Monday. I respected their wishes. An embargo the hacks at The Lincolnite and City X failed to respect or were not subject to.

Opening times will be until eight on weekdays. Sincil Street is deserted after six, no bus after seven. It is also not very safe once dark.

200 Degrees Lincoln officially opens on Monday 4 March 2019.

Coffee Cupping with Hasbean at Coffee Aroma 1400 Monday 4 March 2019.

200 Degrees coffee kiosk

February 24, 2019

The degree to which coffee is hyped is inversely proportional to its quality. For 200 Degrees a chain of nigh identical cookie cutter coffee shops serving at best mediocre coffee bodes ill for its soon to open coffee shop in Lincoln.

Hyped by the hacks at Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Echo who think that regurgitating corporate press releases constitutes news, hyped by quasi PR agency  Visit Lincoln who should be promoting local culture and events not hyping a coffee chain.

Part of the hype, a horse box serving as a coffee kiosk by the side of the river in Lincoln to promote their new coffee shop in Sincil Street not yet open, part of the trashing of Sincil Street, destruction of local businesses by local Coop in cahoots with the local Council to then bring in chains.

Pot luck if you encountered this coffee kiosk, more by luck if passing by, as whoever handles the 200 Degrees twitter account clueless on the use of social media, failure to say when or where made worse by lack of courtesy to reply to queries.

And even for their yet to open coffee shop in Sincil Street, list of opening hours but not when it actually opens.

  • broadcast —> one to many
  • social —> interaction
  • network —> many to many

Social media is not broadcast, the clue is in the name, social networks.

And the coffee?

Served by a guy with a bullshit job title Brand Manager, who is based in their roastery, not the head coffee roaster, handles their training.

The coffee is bulked our with robusta, a cheap nasty coffee that no reputable coffee roastery or specialty coffee shop would touch with a barge pole. I was fed some bullshit that addition of robusta improves the coffee. It does not.

The cappuccino was better than expected, but then this was a guy who claimed to be in charge of training.

The latte art not great. But then I am used to being served by world class baristas thus a hard act to follow.

On the plus side, the cappuccino was better than I expected and have had in Nottingham, which is why when in Nottingham I do not have a coffee in 200 Degrees, there are far better coffee shops, The Specialty Coffee Shop, Cartwheel Coffee, Wired and Outpost Coffee.

Compared with the corporate chains then yes, as their coffee is undrinkable.

Compared with local coffee shops Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle, no, they are in another league.

I then after walking up Steep Hill and back visited Madame Waffle where I was served an excellent V60 brewed by an expert with coffee from Square Mile.

Whilst in Madame Waffle I was chatting to a couple of Chinese visitors who were very complimentary about the tea and asked could they buy loose leaf tea. It was measured out for them.

Other visitors to Lincoln said how much they enjoyed the coffee and that it was an independent coffee shop.

Which brings us back to Visit Lincoln, why are they promoting a coffee chain when Lincoln has two excellent indie coffee shops, Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle, something Lincoln can be proud of and should be showcasing? Visitors want what is unique to Lincoln, that makes a visit to Lincoln worthwhile, not what can be found elsewhere, else why make the effort to visit?

But when Lydia Rusling  head of Visit Lincoln brags she took a visitor to Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and Cosy Club, a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake, there is something clearly very very wrong.

Visit Lincoln a quasi PR company masquerading as a quasi-tourism body.

200 Degrees will open in Sincil Street on Monday 4 March 2019. They have made themselves very unpopular by trying to poach staff from local coffee shops. Very odd as the Sincil Street coffee shop will also host a training school on a mezzanine floor. What does this say of their training school if they need to poach staff from local coffee shops?

They are also attempting to poach customers from nearby coffee shops. Angel Coffee House, not one of Lincoln’s best coffee shops, has been very cleverly manipulated into promoting 200 Degrees on social media.

Demolition in Sincil Street

February 2, 2019

The demolition of a building in Sincil Street started Monday, by mid-week building almost demolished, Friday piles of rubble.

More regurgitation of corporate press releases by scribblers at Lincolnite masquerading as news reporting.

This is not regeneration, and no matter how often regurgitate Lincoln City Council and Co-op propaganda, it is still not regeneration.

Sincil Street has been trashed, local businesses destroyed, the Central Market a disgrace, and for what, to make way for more corporate High Street chains, the same crap chains that can find in any ghastly shopping centre.

Contrary to the Lincolnite scribblers I saw no bulldozers, nor were any bulldozers visible in their pictures.

What I did see, was heavy equipment being used to demolish a multi-story building alongside a street with passers-by, a hoarding to prevent unauthorised site access and yet no other protection.

This may be acceptable on a remote factory site, it is not acceptable in a town centre.

There should have been scaffolding covered with netting to protect passers-by from flying debri.

The jobsworth who signed this off, who put people at risk, at the very least negligent if not criminally negligent.

Lincoln Central Market

January 28, 2019

Lincoln Central Market is disgusting, shabby and drab.

The couple of excellent stalls, spice stall, wholefood stall, have gone.

Well done Steve the fruit and veg stall guy for speaking out.

More traders need to speak out, they do so privately but fear to speak publicly.

The City Council jobsworth is talking nonsense.

‘The council prides itself on having a great relationship our traders’, if this is a great relationship, I hate to think what a bad relationship looks like.

I have yet to speak with a single trader who is happy with the way the Central Market is run.

If the Council unaware traders not happy, why did they order the banner be taken down at the fruit and veg stall?

No rent increase. Considering the atrocious state of Central Market, the near zero footfall, the traders should be seeing a rent decrease.

I have never seen anything in the bus station promoting the market. I have seen promoting Greggs.

But in its present dire state, there would be little point in promoting the market as it would be counterproductive and show Lincoln in a bad light.

Lincoln is a market town in the middle of an agricultural county, and yet lacks a market.

Nor does Lincoln have a farmers market in the town centre, not if class one stall, two if lucky, maybe half a dozen stalls if very very lucky, as a farmers market.

The one and only stall has relocated to beside the River Witham, but no one knows, no information in the High Street, no information at its current location of the relocation.

People looking for the farmers market in the High Street assume it has finally collapsed.

On a Friday, one stall representing the farmers market, plus a cake and bread stall and a fruit and vegetable stall.

On a Saturday the fruit and vegetable stall and Curry Jacks a curry stall.

York has a market and a street food market.

Chichester a small market town and yet has a thriving market and farmers market.

Guildford has a thriving Friday and Saturday weekly market with three excellent fruit and vegetable stalls, that if in Lincoln would stretch the length of Sincil Street, once a month a farmers market, that if in Lincoln would stretch from St Mary’s Street up through The Stonebow.

Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife, ground floor little shops, including an excellent little bookshop, first floor fruit and vegetable stalls, a deli cum wine stall, a deli cum little restaurant, a fishmonger. On a Saturday, many stalls selling everything, the fishmonger serving cooked seafood with champagne, the delis also serving up food.

Lincoln Central Market needs gutting, most of the traders kicked out, then revamped with the emphasis on quality independent traders.

Look to Trinity Market in Hull Old Town. Light and airy, quality food stalls, indie specialty coffee, craft beer, bench seats to sit either inside or out. Then contrast with the disgrace that is Lincoln Central Market.

One of the ironies, at a time when we should be moving to eliminate plastic, when Tesco is looking to close its fresh produce, when we should be supporting markets, local shops, zero waste stores like Hisbe, Lincoln instead of moving ahead by supporting its local markets, is doing its best to kill them.

Trashing of Sincil Street has not helped.

Sincil Street was once a busy street of thriving indie businesses. Now look at it. Most of the businesses destroyed, buildings destroyed, new build with large plate glass windows, large size units, neither matches the Victorian street scene, nor of suitable size for the small family businesses that have been kicked out, let alone afford the rent.

Moving in, rubbish chains that find in every ghastly shopping centre up and down the country.

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with the trashing of Sincil Street.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, each one longer than Sincil Street, side streets, similar street scene, except it is busy, full of indie businesses not a chain in sight and very rare to see empty shops, and if empty do not remain empty for long.

Instead of building on Sincil Street and highlighting it was different to the High Street, it was trashed.

How it could be.  The Central Market used for start ups, as they grow, expand into an empty shop in Sincil Street.

Lincoln lacks a wholefood store. If Gaia Wholefoods was still in Central Market, and successful, it could have relocated to Sincil Street.  Not possible as pulled out due to lack of footfall, and even were it still there and successful, no longer anywhere in Sincil Street to relocate to.

That is how shortsighted Lincoln City Council, not only killing existing local businesses, but killing off the growth potential of any future new businesses.

The difference between Hull Old Town and Brighton where they value their cultural heritage and Lincoln, is a lack of vision, useless jobsworths who are clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning, clueless on how local economies function, on the need to recycle money within a local economy, lack of support for local businesses, but only too happy to fall over backwards to facilitate greedy developers and corporate chains.

It is quirky indie businesses, markets, that make a town, give a sense of place.

The City Council in cahoots with the Co-op have done an excellent job destroying Sincil Street, Cornhill and the Central Market.

Lincoln would make an excellent case study in bad planning.

It is not only Sincil Street, Cornhill and Central Market, ugly tower blocks ruining a historic skyline, accomodation for students, temporary residents at best, homeless living on the streets.

Lincoln Co-op a disaster as a retailer, but by historic accident owns large parts of the town centre, and abuse their position to destroy local businesses.

Sincil Street, the frontage of the buildings should have been restored to Victoran frontage, no garish signs.

Central Market the foodie area cf Trinity Market Hull Old Town.

Sincil Street a mix of retail, bakeries, little restaurants, boutiques, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops cf North Laine Brighton.

I have no problem coffee shops, but these have to be high quality indie coffee shops eg Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp, no chains

No corporate chains.

Corporate chains destroy towns, lead to sense of isolation, sameness, drain money out of the local economy, then go bust or a head office spreadsheet exercise leads to store closure, leading to boarded-up shops never to be filled, desolation.

This has happened to too many town centres, Aldershot the classic example, stores pulling out weekly, the few remaining waiting for lease to expire, main street shop after shop down the street boarded-up, junkies and losers lost on the streets.

it is not only the market area the Council has trashed.

Up until the late 1960s early 1970s, Brayford Pool was lined with mills and warehouses.  These could have been renovated. Ground floor indie businesses, workshops, indie coffee shops, first floor studio and office space, top floors flats and apartments. A pleasant urban park leading off the High Street, accessed down the side of Stokes on High Bridge.

Instead what do we have, a desolate wasteland, an ugly urban eyesore.

Yet another example of City Hall jobsworths completely clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning.

Sincil Street

January 31, 2013
Sincil Street

Sincil Street

Running north-south and bounded to the north by the River Witham (bridged by a footbridge), this area was originally wetlands reclaimed sometime late Anglo-Saxon or early Medieval. The river flowed just south of the wall of the Roman City Lindum Colonia. The present course of the river dates from the 12th century.

Sincil Street is the only remaining heritage outside the Central Market in Lincoln (ironically older than the Central Market), parts dating from 1840, home to many independent retailers, the street more popular than the High Street demolishing the myth shoppers prefer the sameness of High Street retailers (Sincil Street is busier than the High Street).

Little alleys run between the shops, some run to the back of the shops, others run through to what used to be workshops, but now an ugly bus station.

At either end there are two indie coffee shops, Café 44 at one end, Revival at the other.

All that remains of heritage of this period in this part of the town centre.

And yet the City Council wishes to see Sincil Street destroyed. Revival to be demolished to make way for a soulless shopping centre.

No one wishes to see Sincil Street destroyed, it gives the area character, the local businesses recycle money within the local economy.

Why is the City Council hell bent on destruction?

Destruction of Sincil Street

January 13, 2012
Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street is to be destroyed, oops, redeveloped. No, let’s be honest, it is being destroyed.

Sincil Street is virtually all that is left of the market area in the city centre of Lincoln. All long gone. Even the Central Market has an ugly glass building cloaking it at ground level. The market itself, a shadow of what once was. A crying shame in what is all said and done a market town.

Sincil Street is to be demolished to provide larger shop units.

Who benefits?

Not local retailers who need small shop units. The beneficiaries, as always, High Street stores, the same crappy High Street stores that have ruined town centres across the country. Clone towns that all look the same.

The redevelopment provides a development opportunity for developers. Fast bucks is all that matters.

The City Council as usual showing their usual lack of vision. Having destroyed most of the town centre, having put The Lawn up for sale, the City Council seems hell bent on destroying what little of character remains in the city centre.

Not for Sale! Hands off our Lawn!

Look to the North Laine area of Brighton. Three streets very similar to Sincil Street, quirky shops, independent businesses, quality shops. The area is thriving. On a Sunday it is packed.

Why visit Brighton?

Meanwhile in Sincil Street retailers are being kicked out, or are leaving because the future is now uncertain, the area blighted.

One such shop is the Oxfam Bookshop. This is an excellent second-hand bookshop, the people in the shop know their books, love books, and a pleasant change for Oxfam do not rip you off. They are being forced to relocate to larger premises which they will share with an Oxfam shop. A few shelves in an Oxfam shop is not a bookshop.

Small retailers give an area character. That is why North Laine in Brighton is so popular. But they also recycle money within the local economy. High Street retailers drain money out of a local economy.

Talking to local people, no support for what is proposed. No doubt they will be ignored as that is what usually happens.

Across the country traditional markets are being destroyed, bastardised and yuppified. Queen’s Market is one of the few remaining London east end markets. It was under threat when the mayor got into bed with property developer St Modwen who have track record of trashing town town centres (eg Farnborough and Hatfield), it was to be destroyed for a supermarket, but after a six year fight, Friends of Queen’s Market have sent St Modwen’s packing with their corporate tail between their legs. Remaining is to be answered is how much taxpayers money has the mayor wasted on this ill-thought-out scheme? He and the councillors who backed him should be surcharged and made personally bankrupt to recover ever last penny.

Queens Market
Asda v Queens Market
Victory for Queens Market!!

The irony is that those towns that have retained their traditional markets are thriving, the markets major tourist attractions. But that does not provide development opportunities, enable fast bucks to be made.

Bury Market in Lancashire – 300 stalls, a quarter of a million visitors every day! Tthe success of Bury Market is down to two factors, quality stalls selling quality products and that the market worked with the local council to a common ethos, a common agenda.

BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2008