‘Devastating’ fire forces Reubens to close

Four people taken to hospital as fire ripped through London kosher restaurant on Wednesday


Reubens has been closed due to a dramatic fire on Wednesday night (Photo: Jane Prinsley)

An fire has ravaged Reubens deli and restaurant in Marylebone, forcing the Baker Street establishment to close pending extensive repairs.

Four fire engines and 25 firefighters were called to the scene on Wednesday evening to tackle the flames, and four people were taken to hospital by ambulance.

The fire, which started in the restaurant at around 11.30pm on Wednesday, is believed to have been accidental and caused by an electrical fault.

Staff at Reubens told the JC that the fire was started by a fridge and displayed the burnt electrical parts that allegedly triggered the flames.

The ceiling of the ground floor restaurant has been blackened by the flames and the building smells strongly of burning plastic.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus rescued eight people from the building using fire escape hoods and four people were taken to hospital.

On Friday, the residential flats above Reubens still had their windows open to air the building.

Restaurant proprietor, Lee Landau, told the JC the fire was “devastating” but reassured patrons: "We can say to our customers that we will be back open as soon as possible. We are working really hard to sort this out."

On Friday, as staff examined the damage, passers-by stopped to share their sympathies. One customer on Baker Street told us, “I love Reubens, sorry to see this happen.”

On social media, punters expressed their concern and one Instagram user said: “My father and I saw you guys outside the restaurant today .. looks like you’re working very hard to get back open ASAP. We’re all here to support you if you need anything! Hope things get sorted promptly BH’”. 

The fire started after the restaurant had closed, triggering alarms. About 30 minutes later, fire engines arrived from Euston, Paddington and Soho fire stations and broke their way into the property.

According to London Fire Brigade, the incident was over for firefighters at 2.10am.

The Brigade said, “Fire escape hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes protection from four of the main fire gases (carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein) and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.”

Famed for its sandwiches and schnitzels, Rubens describes itself as "the longest-running kosher restaurant in the UK and the only kosher restaurant in the West End.” It was reopened under the ownership of Landau in 2019.

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