For more than 30 years, the crepe stand in Hampstead High Street has been a social hub for north-west London’s Jews.
For teenagers and young families, dating couples and senior citizens, La Crêperie de Hampstead has been a place to meet, greet and grab a French-style snack. Even celebrities such as Kate Moss and Mila Kunis have been known to stop by for a pancake.
But now La Crêperie’s Jewish owner, Edward de Mesquita, has told customers the business could close down because of a dispute with the neighbouring King William IV pub.
The stall’s fridge and kitchen supplies are kept on land belonging to the pub. Solicitors have informed Mr de Mesquita that the landlord has concerns about the impact of the arrangement on the pub’s business and has decided to terminate it.
“Without these facilities, we are effectively unable to trade. There is no question the crêperie will be forced to close,” said Mr de Mesquita.
The landlord, Elaine Loughran, said she wanted Mr Mesquita to find an alternative site for his fridge. “I’ll give him until September to move his fridge off my land. But I might make it a shorter period, depending on how he acts.”
A “Save La Crêperie de Hampstead” petition has been set up, and many of the stand’s Jewish customers are among the 1,000 people who have signed it. One of them, Hannah Levi, described the stand as “by far the best part of Hampstead High Street”.
Another Jewish fan, Deborah Klein, said: “The Crêperie is much loved and it would be detrimental to the high street should it cease to trade.”
Simon Marcus, who is the Tory candidate for the constituency at the next general election, is backing the campaign. He said: “La Crêperie is great and it must stay. Almost every local has eaten there over the years and it is a landmark now”.