Thursday, February 25News For London

Save Andrew’s Café in Gray’s Inn Road

The historical Andrew’s Café located in Gray’s Inn Road could close in May to make way for an expensive housing development.

Photo Credit: Stop Panther House and Gray's Inn Road development community's page
Photo Credit: Stop Panther House & Gray’s Inn Road Development community’s page

Andrew’s Café is one of the oldest in Camden with a history of over 70 years and was established before World War 2. Its current owner, Erdogan Garip, faces eviction after 12 years of hard working live running the café.

The massive development scheme submitted to Camden Council by the property firm Dukelease, a private company owned by a single family, will demolish lovely heritage buildings and destroy a vibrant and active community which will be replaced by 13 new million-pound flats made of glass, metal and concrete. Unfortunately, Andrew’s Café it is only one of many businesses that will be forced out if the planning application for Panther House and 156-164 Gray’s Inn Road gets approval from the council. Artists’ studios in Panther House, around 40 small businesses and workshops and the row of shops next to Andrew’s Café will also be affected by the proposals.

Photo Credit: Stop Panther House & Gray's Inn Road Development community's page
Photo Credit: Stop Panther House & Gray’s Inn Road Development community’s page

In addition to over fifty formal objections lodged by local residents and existing tenants, Historic England strongly opposes to the redevelopment and has urged councillors to reject the plans of Dukelease for luxury flats and offices.

Located near ITN offices, Andrew’s Café led his own petition to save the restaurant. Well-known faces from television such as Channel 4 News presenters Jon Snow and Krishnan Guru-Murthy, ITV News presenter Tom Bradby and hundreds of regular customers have signed the petition.

Erdogan Garip, the owner of the café, explains that he has requested his landlord to be given a small space for his café after the rebuilding. However the landlord told him that it won’t be possible because the place will be designed for posh flats.

In the following video, Garip explains why it is important to save the so-called greasy spoon café.

Customers can enjoy a wide range of traditional English dishes. The picture below shows one of them:  Set 3 which contains eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, chips, two toasts and tea or coffee.

Photo Credit: Judit Serra
Photo Credit: Judit Serra

Garip also reveals that he feels betrayed for his landlord who assured to help him to find another place nearby.

Erdogan Garip says that he will appeal to the court if the council doesn’t approve the proposals submitted by Dukelease. However, he is afraid that if Camden Council gives permission to the plan to go ahead, he won’t be able to do anything.

Garip’s colleague working at Adana, the printing business next to Andrew’s door with 50 years of history, finds quite sad that developers are coming to modernise the area without taking into account the importance to keep small independent business alive.

In the following video, Farrukh Abdukhamitov, explains the importance to keep the local community sense.

Andrew’s Café has survived a number of development proposals over the past seven years. Though now what it’s a nightmare can be soon a reality, on the 24 of May, when he might be evicted.

In a statement to the Camden New Journal, a Dukelease spokesman says: “We look forward to our proposals being considered by Camden. Subject to a planning approval we would begin construction later in 2016 with the aim of completing the refurbishment and redevelopment by mid-2018.”