Following the crowd

Caversham-based Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, spoke recently of an area in Sweden called Solna where businesses of similar nature clustered.

It meant other businesses which wanted to work with them were also attracted.

He was speaking at the Madejski Stadium. Just a few hundred yards away is a curious illustration.

LSQ2 is an Australian grill first opened at Green Park several years ago and now also at the Oracle riverside.

At the Oracle, surrounded by other restaurants, it takes last orders at 10pm or 10.30pm on Friday and Saturdays.

At Green Park it doesn’t even open for evenings and weekends, unless for a Reading match, because there is no trade.

Being on a safe, tidy, accessible spot with free parking means nothing to your normal diner. They want clustered restaurants, multi-storey parking, crowds and activity.

The Oracle developers seemed to know this and the Swedes don’t seem to be doing badly. What I don’t understand is why this clustering concept has not been adopted more widely.

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About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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