Squatters target Belsize Park Legal Cafe and former South End Green pub the White Horse

PUBLISHED: 16:57 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:08 19 July 2017

Items belonging to a group that squatted a Belsize Park cafe last week

Items belonging to a group that squatted a Belsize Park cafe last week


A former Belsize Park café and a former South End Green pub have been targeted by squatters amid a spate of attempted occupations of empty business premises.

The site of the former Legal Cafe, which closed last year and was squatted for one night last week The site of the former Legal Cafe, which closed last year and was squatted for one night last week

Police on Friday evicted squatters from the erstwhile Legal Café on Havistock Hill after they had reportedly been in the building for one night; the café closed last year after a rent dispute between the owners and the landlord.

However, one unnamed member of the group claimed that the group had entered lawfully – meaning the police had no right to evict them – and also alleged he had been treated violently during the eviction.

“We had been squatting for one night,” said the man, a member of an artists’ collective. “On Friday police came in and removed us by force. They said we had committed burglary and trespass – but we checked beforehand that it was empty.

“This is a civil matter, the door was open, we committed no criminal damage – the police should have just moved on.”

Contacted by the Ham&High, the building’s owner Antonis Evangelou, proprietor of popular Primrose Hill e#atery Lemonia, claimed to have had no involvement in the eviction. “It’s not an issue,” he said. “The police came, they left. There are no squatters there now.”

A police spokesman said: “Police were called at around 4pm on July 14 to a number of people who had gained access to premises that were undergoing refurbishment in Haverstock Hill.

“Officers attended the location, and those inside the building left. There was no arrest. The premises - a café undergoing refurbishment - were not disused.”

Meanwhile, squatters have also moved in to the former White Horse pub, on Fleet Road, in South End Green, amid several attempts to squat empty business premises in the area and on Hampstead High Street.

“We advise owners to be alert and keep their premises locked,” said Officer Nick Dayton of Hampstead Town Police. “That goes for neighbours too – if you see people trying to enter, they may be burglars, not squatters.”

In Muswell Hill, police evicted squatters who had invaded the O’Neills pub on, Muswell Hill Broadway, just before 4am on Sunday. They were called following reports of a break in at the former Presbyterian church.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:35

Every Sunday from this weekend until September will see an exciting free musical performance at the Regent’s Park bandstand.

Yesterday, 15:52

In a new weekly feature, we speak to the people behind some of Hampstead and Highgate’s best small businesses. This week, we spoke to two photographers helping youngsters get behind the camera.

Yesterday, 15:25

Hundreds attended Highgate’s annual Fair in the Square at the weekend, sponsored by the Ham&High.

Yesterday, 13:46

Adam Solomons speaks to those commemorating the German philosopher.

Yesterday, 11:49

After months of delays, disruption and the dreaded rail replacement bus, commutes are finally set to get better for London Overground passengers.

Yesterday, 10:20

The families of two graffiti artists from Muswell Hill and Hampstead who were killed at Loughborough Junction station on Monday, have paid tribute to them.

Tue, 17:45

Neighbours and community groups have raised concerns over the sale of former Branch Hill House care home in Hampstead.

Tue, 14:44

The senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell is set to hold a public consultation into the new policy for how she should deal with deaths in the area, but has only given people a matter of days to send in written submissions.


Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now