London’s Shreeji Turns From Local Newsagent to Culture Concept Space

LONDON — Sandeep Garg first opened Shreeji in 1982 as a local newsagent and tobacconist in London’s Marylebone area.

Fast forward to 2020 and Shreeji finds itself surrounded by some high-flying neighbors. Across the street is André Balazs’ now-famous hotel and restaurant Chiltern Firehouse, while an array of specialty stores keep cropping up on the street, from the sustainable label Ssone to modern-day tailor Casely-Hayford — all at a time when staying local has gained new meaning.

Cue the reopening and reimagining of Shreeji as a “culture concept store.” Its original identity as a specialist newsagent has been kept intact, but husband-and-wife duo Gabriel Chipperfield (and Laura de Gunzburg — who partnered with Garg on the relaunch — added a coffee and pastry bar, salon, reading room and event area.

De Gunzburg, who runs a homeware and design brand dubbed The Artichoke and who is the daughter of American billionaire art collector Charles de Gunzburg, curated a homeware pop-up at the store’s salon, featuring the likes of Cabana, Gio Ponti and Lobmeyr. She also facilitated a collaboration with Graydon Carter’s online magazineAir Mail, which can be read for free on the iPads dotted around the space.

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Given the slowdown in tourism and people’s inclinations to stay local, Shreeji did transform into “a neighborhood hangout” frequented by Marylebone residents sitting outside to enjoy their newspapers and takeaway coffees.

“We were enticed by the big vitrine, which made the small interior very visible from the street. As it happens this worked in our favor, especially as it has become more of a norm to stay outside due to COVID-19,” said Chipperfield, who worked on the redesign of the space.

Shreeji reopened in Marylebone. Courtesy of Shreeji

Shreeji reopened in Marylebone. Courtesy of Shreeji

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