Farewell for owners of Belsize newsagent Late Nite Extra after 35 years
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Belsize Village was coming to terms with a huge loss to the neighbourhood this week, with the closure of a family-run newsagent after 35 years.
Late Nite Extra owners Shiraz and Tazim Alidina will be hugely missed and have been inundated with kind wishes from loyal customers – who must now turn elsewhere not only for newspapers and sweets, but their daily political briefings.
Mr Alidina, 65, is famed for his ability to dissect the key issues of the day and to take down politicians of all stripes with his incisive analysis.
The shop in Belsize Lane, which shut on Monday, is the last of a mini-empire which began with a store in Fortune Green Road, Fortune Green, and included another at Dolphin Square in Piccadilly.
The couple, who live in Eastside Road, Temple Fortune, say they are calling it a day to “do absolutely nothing” aside from becoming “full time grandparents”.
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Mrs Alidina, 55, said: “It’s an amazing journey that we’ve had, the people here have been like an extended family. This is the best place we could have chosen to run a shop.”
Mr Alidina said the past three years have been “sluggish” in business terms, but they have soldiered on for the love of the community.
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Over the years, Mr Aldina has been known to drive elderly customers home and visit their houses to fit light bulbs.
He said: “I’m confident, if I was walking these streets hungry and thirsty, I would be fed.
“A lot of customers here are my friends. I have a special style of running a shop. It doesn’t make any money, but you get a lot of goodwill from customers.”
He credits a couple who ran a newsagent in Portsmouth, where he studied in the 1960s after moving to England from Tanzania, with inspiring his friendly approach.
“They talked to everybody. I adopted the same style and it does wonders. Just be nice to your customers.”
A street party in their honour will be held in Belsize Village on December 7.