Tears as pandemic forces top restaurant Harry Morgan to close

End of an era for St John's Wood favourite


The restaurant Harry Morgan, an  institution of north west London, has closed its doors for good.

The St John’s Wood eaterie, which has served Jewish deli-style food to locals, tourists and celebrities for more than 72 years, is another victim of the pandemic.

Manager Antonio Franco who has worked at the restaurant for 10 years, told the JC that landlord, Trophaeum Asset Management (which owns 60 per cent of properties on St John’s Wood High Street), had refused to agree any compromise over their rent.

“Our revenue has been at about 40 per cent of what it was before. We stopped paying the rent and tried to negotiate a rent reduction or to pay the rent in stages, but they refused,” said Mr Franco.

 “We’ve been doing takeaway for much of the last year, but it’s just not enough to pay the whole rent and run the business,” said Mr Franco.

Matt Farrell of Trophaeum Asset Management confirmed that there had been negotiations between the parties: “We offered assistance by way of a rent freeze, but couldn’t find a way forward between us. They chose to close the business. It has been a difficult time for landlords as well — everyone is suffering.”

Mr Franco told the JC that he and 14 other employees will lose their jobs: “We’re close to  tears — we loved working here,” he said.

However, a spokesperson for entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, who owns the company, said: “I can confirm that Harry Morgan will be closing in its current location this week and may reopen in a new location in due course.”

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