Hampstead gets another creperie: War of words over second high street van

Rival creperies in Hampstead Village.

Rival creperies in Hampstead Village. - Credit: Hampstead Village Voice

La Creperie de Hampstead, which has served the village for 40 years, now has competition after a rival opened just metres away. 

On Friday, the King William IV pub in Hampstead High Street opened its own crepe stand in a pop-up tent.

The rival was back again on Saturday, having moved even closer to La Creperie de Hampstead than its position on Friday.  

The Ham&High understands a Hampstead street trader approached the pub about opening the stall but it has not yet been confirmed what days it will operate.

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The pub says they have applied to the council for licencing permission and say they are following council rules on coronavirus restrictions. 

Redouane Ait Iich, manager at La Creperie de Hampstead, said the appearance of the new stall caused confusion for customers. 

He said: “First they didn’t give us any notice, nothing, and, we were surprised. The first time when I saw them was on Friday, everybody thought it was us, a second one, and I said: ‘I never planned to do this. This is not us.’  

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“And I learned that this was from the pub. 

“Of course they can open a business, they can do whatever they want, we are in lockdown time, but they have a lot of ideas, and they decide to do a creperie? Hampstead Creperie is famous. 

“People are waiting for half an hour just to be served. We had a lot of customers who were waiting for two queues. We were sorry that they had to wait half an hour there and half an hour with us.”

Jimmy McGrath, owner of the King William IV pub, said: “[Creperie de Hampstead] has had the benefit of everyone else having to close during lockdown, whereas they’ve been trading throughout, then (when) someone who is in a situation where he can’t open his business at all, seeks to do something to supplement his income, for the benefit of the survival of the pub, and to provide a service, (people) come down on him like a tonne of bricks. 

“The cake’s big enough for everybody – that queue goes for miles. No one’s put off - arguably it was attracting people.”