I Camisa

I was not alone in going to pay my last respects to I Camisa, the Italian shop on Old Compton Street which is closing after nearly 100 years – it opened in 1929, a bit of old Soho being swept away by the tidal wave of speculation which is garotting Soho street-by-street, unlike Paris where the authorities make efforts to preserve small family businesses to enhance the quality of life. If only someone could buy it and make it into a franchise like Lina Store. Of course, Soho changes. It probably always has. But it can never have been subjected to such ruthless and remorseless blandification, all in the name of progress:-


6 thoughts on “I Camisa

  1. Pam Roberts says:

    I was in there yesterday & there is some hope that there may yet be a reprieve, according to Manager, Christina. Been shopping there since 1977, on & off.

  2. julianhartnoll says:

    One was either a Camisa man or a Lina chap : I was the latter and the new branches maintain the standards . Somebody should take up the cause of Fribourg and Treyer’s premises at 38 Haymarket .

      • julianhartnoll says:

        Indeed it is still there and is now a very low brow shop selling tourist trash . It should be run by someone selling goods appropriate to their surroundings . Both the facade and the interior are protected . Actually Fribourg’s sold snuff rather than Turkish cigarettes . Whilst a Marlburian I took snuff : but perhaps such poseurs are no longer encouraged . Dennis Silk approved !

  3. ivangaskell says:

    Camisa! I used to buy produce there when I was a graduate student in London between 1976 and 1980. I can still recall the smell–olives, salami (when people still ate meat), and, at this time of year, panettone. Thank goodness there are still comparable places in New York, and in Boston’s North End (the latter Sicilian).

    • Pam Roberts says:

      The smell at Camisa is still the same! Still fermenting olives & that hit of greasy pig salami. Westminster Council committed to support independent stores in Soho but, in this case, are not yet doing so. Apparently, the landlords have been far more supportive to Camisa than Westminster Council. So rev up Westminster!!!

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