Family run restaurants “forced” out of Exmouth Market over lease disagreements

A general view of Exmouth Market in London EC1R showing Gulsham Tandori restaurant which has been fo

A general view of Exmouth Market in London EC1R showing Gulsham Tandori restaurant which has been forced to shut. - Credit: Archant

Restaurant owners have spoken out after feeling “forced” from Exmouth Market to make way for new high-end businesses.

Mediterranean restaurant Sade and Gulshan Tandoori closed last week after their landlord allegedly refused to extend their lease from the autumn.

Gulshan Tandoori owner Bashir Ahmed said: “We have been running our restaurant at Exmouth Market for over 32 years. It’s a great vibrant part of London.

“The traditional Indian restaurant is the staple of high streets up and down the country. We have successfully run our business for three decades and our customers will miss us just as we will miss them. There are very few family run restaurants left in the area.

“Many of our customers have been coming to us for decades and their children have become regular customers as they too have grown up.”

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Isla Aydyna, a former Sade employee, said: “I felt like we were forced off and we are very upset about the situation. The landlord wants more money from the property.”

The restaurant, which was previously named Sofra, had been in Exmouth Market for over 15 years.

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“There is nothing we can do as we cannot afford to take this to court. Customers have been quite upset, especially the loyal ones,” said Mrs Aydyna.

MP for Islington South and Finsbury Emily Thornberry said: “Exmouth market is changing. There are many more upmarket shops in the area.

“I remain concerned that there are affordable restaurants for local people in the area. I’ve been to the tandoori restaurant, it’s very good and it’s a shame that it is closing.”

Popular Caribbean venue Cottons also closed last October and is now set to become a gastropub.

Representing the landlord for that premises, Chris Singam from Camden Management said: “Exmouth Market started off as a trendy niche boutique street, but this has changed because of property values and rising demand. The street really needs rethinking if this trend continues.”

The landlord for Sade and Gulshan Tandoori declined to comment.

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