End of an era in Brixton as The Baron closes

Closure of The Baron menswear shop on Atlantic Road marks another stage in the transformation of Brixton.

Once one of several nearby shops selling the unique and striking fashions favoured by the African Caribbean community, The Baron was in business for more then 50 years.

Changing demographics, the growth of brand-based fashion and the continuing blight on central Brixton traders created by the refurbishment of the former Network Rail arches on Atlantic Road, have seen the decline of what was a unique and thriving shopping centre.

Demolition in 2009 of the multi-storey car park on what is currently the site of Pop Brixton was also seen by many local traders as a major blow to their prospects.

In an opinion piece for the Blog five years ago, The Baron proprietor Riccardo Festa summed up the feelings of many: “When Brixton was bad, we were good. Now Brixton is good we are bad.”

Network Rail sold most of its nationwide holding of railway arches to the Arch Company – a consortium of major property companies including US private equity giant Blackstone – for £1.5 billion in 2018.