Crash is a perfect example of a what makes independent stores great – it’s more than just retail, it’s a community and a personal touch that gives itself to a level of service you don’t get in other places.
Thorntons Arcade was where we always wanted to be with Welcome, there’s a long history of great independent retail in there including a skate shop twenty years ago (in the space we’ve just taken on for Tomorrow, next door to Village). A couple of years after opening below Crash we were fortunate to be in a position to move there and call OK Comics, Open Lifestyle, Hip and Chimp our neighbours.
Sadly, many of those stores no longer exist or have moved on to different iterations of themselves, along with several others that have come and gone in that time. I guess that just highlights the precarious nature of independent retail; support your local!
Meanwood is now the area I call home. The park itself is my favourite in Leeds, there’s a little bit of everything there, some open space, the beck and some otherworldly rugged terrain, plus the cafe and play park.
There’s also a steadily growing community of great independents in the area, Tandem for the daytime and Alfred for the evening (or vice versa every now and again) plus there will hopefully be a Meanwood brewery and tap room by the time you read this. It’s also not too far from Hyde Park!