iShop Chatham Street

Old world charm shopping arcade

In the old days, there was a tram all the way from the Fort to Kotahene, it would be nice if they’d bring that back.
— Sato, Worked in Fort in the 1960s

Old world charm

Between wartime stagnation and post-war gentrification, very few places in Colombo have managed to preserve a broad old-world charm that harks back to colonial times. Chatham Street happens to be one of those places. The revamped shopping arcade is a throwback to the days when this was the city’s prime shopping hotspot. Home to many a famous Sri Lankan jeweller, Chatham Street is still the place to go if you’re looking for high quality, vintage jewellery.

Heydays party hotspot

“In the old days everything happened in Fort and Chatham Street was the place to be. This was the local hotspot for sundowners, drinking and dancing. We’d go to the White Horse pub for arrack and short eats” recounts Sato who used to go with her husband and friends when she worked in Fort in the 60’s.

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