A popular restaurant and wine bar may close after the landlord changed the locks.

But the owner of Swain's Wine Bar & Store in Parliament Hill  is "hopeful" the situation can be resolved after it was handed notice by landlords Fruition Properties for "non payment of rent" and "breach of fire regulations".

A forfeiture notice has been posted on the door of the restaurant, on the corner of Swain's Lane and Highgate Road, saying the landlord has "re-entered and taken possession of the vacant property".

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The notice says that it has changed the locks "thereby forfeiting the lease dated 18 October 2013 and made between Steven Robert Webster & Louis Yiannakis Loizou and 02 4 Property Limited and the lease dated 6 August 2019 and made between Fruition Assets and 02 4 Property Limited".

Ham & High: Forfeiture notice on Swain's Wine & StoreForfeiture notice on Swain's Wine & Store (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Shortly afterwards, a second notice appeared underneath the first, signed "Victoria and the team".

Starting "Dear friends", it read: "You may have noticed the sign here, which might be a surprise to you. It took us by surprise as well.

"We are nonetheless confident that this issue will be swiftly and happily resolved and normal service will be resumed very soon. We miss being here!"

Ham & High: A second notice on the door of Swain's Wine Bar & Store in Parliament Hill, apparently from the business owners and signed Victoria and the teamA second notice on the door of Swain's Wine Bar & Store in Parliament Hill, apparently from the business owners and signed Victoria and the team (Image: Nathalie Raffray/Newsquest)

The dog-friendly venue opened in December 2021 with a horseshoe-shaped bar, a wine list, and a menu offering sharing plates.

Open four days a week, it became popular with locals who enjoyed offerings including wine tastings and dog-themed evenings.

Prior to Swain's taking the lease, it was operated first as the Duke of St Albans pub, and then the Carob Tree Greek restaurant.

It is not the only Swain's Lane business to have closed. In recent years The Wine Cellar, which opened in Swain's Lane in December 2019, permanently closed on July 23 last year after failing to recover from the pandemic.

In December Bourne's fishmongers in Swain's Lane closed as its owner John Long, wanted to concentrate on running the Superette, his business, next door.

A spokesperson for Fruition Properties said: "Fruition Properties acted as Development Managers on this redevelopment and following completion in 2014 the company has managed the building on behalf of investors.

"A breach of fire regulations, which was not remedied despite numerous requests, and non-payment of rent by the existing tenant has meant the landlords unfortunately have had no choice but to take possession and serve notice.

"Discussions with the tenant are ongoing."

A spokesperson for Swain's said: "It is not appropriate for us to comment while we are in discussions with the landlord."