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 weekThe 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


A murder investigation has been launched after a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death in Tufnell Park last night.

Yesterday, 16:03

A man has appeared in court over a hit and run crash which killed Camden man Richard Dougherty last month.

Yesterday, 10:26

“Today’s ruling [...] focuses on procedure rather than the merits of the scheme.”

Yesterday, 10:24

A cycling campaigner has blamed CS11’s legal defeat on Transport for London’s “watering down” of the project – and said it is time for London mayor Sadiq Khan to “improve his politics game”.

Yesterday, 09:18

Westminster North MP Karen Buck joined parents and children to protest the sudden closure of Queen’s Park Nursery.

Yesterday, 08:07

Campaigners from Greenpeace staged a protest outside the Camden High Street Marks and Spencer on Saturday to urge the high street giant to crack down on its use of single-use plastic.

Mon, 17:33

Senior coroner Mary Hassell has today unveiled the new policy that will dictate how her office decides which deaths to deal with first.

Mon, 15:24

The Luna Cinema was back in Alexandra Palace park this weekend and crowds enjoyed special screenings of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Breakfast Club.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

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.

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