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Finsbury Park residents rally to rescue beloved E.Mono kebab shop

PUBLISHED: 20:00 30 March 2016

Michael Ustun's son Jibril holds up a copy of Giles Coren's rave review

Michael Ustun's son Jibril holds up a copy of Giles Coren's rave review

Archant

Concerned Finsbury Park residents have started a petition to save a critically-acclaimed kebab shop from closing down.

The E.Mono kebab shop – whose Kentish Town branch was famously praised by food critic Giles Coren – was last week forced to move out of its premises in Station Place as Network Rail starts its refurbishment of shops under the station arches.

E.Mono, which has been there for six years, must now leave the premises for several months, but will have to compete to get its lease back when the work is finished.

“I don’t think they want to give it back. They want more money so they have put it on the open market,” Mike Ustun, the owner of the shop told the Gazette. “We don’t have a chance against the big chains, do we?”

The petition, which has so far clocked up 101 signatures, was started by E.Mono customers Sinead Hughes and her boyfriend Jim Knights.

Mr Knights said: “An E.Mono kebab has been a fixture of my Friday nights for years now. They are absolutely delicious as well as being fresh and healthy. It’s the staff that have kept me coming back though. They’re always so friendly and never need to ask me for my order anymore – they just get it on the grill as soon as I come in.”

Ms Hughes added: “There are a lot of big supermarket and coffee chains coming in and taking over and we are losing these small independent businesses that are so crucial in keeping the character of an area.”

When contacted by the Gazette, Mr Coren said: “I’ve never been to the business in Finsbury Park but the E.Mono in Kentish Town is brilliant. It’s a lovely local business and they deserve to thrive.”

He added: “If they are on a short lease then it’s only natural they would have to compete. But it would be a real shame if they had to compete with another McDonald’s or Burger King.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We’ve met with each of the four tenants affected by the improvement work being carried out at Finsbury Park. Three of these tenants will be returning to the units and the fourth tenant has been invited to make an offer on the remaining unit. We’ve reached agreements with all the tenants involved in this process and do not believe the petition is still active.”

You can view the petition by clicking here.

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