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Cafe Hampstead: Troubled Rosslyn Hill restaurant shuts abruptly due to 'unforeseen circumstances'

PUBLISHED: 14:06 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 23 July 2019

Cafe Hampstead in Hampstead - shut for

Cafe Hampstead in Hampstead - shut for "unforeseen circumstances". Picture: Polly Hancock/Harry Taylor

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Troubled restaurant Cafe Hampstead abruptly closed earlier this week.

Cafe Hampstead is closed Cafe Hampstead is closed "due to unforeseen circumstances". Picture: Harry Taylor

Troubled restaurant Cafe Hampstead abruptly closed last week.

A sign in the windows of the eatery in Rosslyn Hill read: "The restaurant is closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Sorry for the inconvenience." One notice was torn back to reveal a "notice of peaceable re-entry" dated July 16 from landlord Ei Group plc.

Chairs and furniture can be seen stacked up inside.

Earlier this year, the site was listed for sale by Savills with an asking price just shy of £3million. Ei Group plc told us at the time it had been let to County Park Limited, whose sole director is Rex Newmark, until 2045.

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Last month County Park Limited was threatened with a strike-off notice from Companies House, but avoided being wound up by filing its accounts by the deadline. Its accounts up until the end of June 2018 show it having debts to creditors of £1.41million and having lost a total of £450,000. The majority of the debt was to bank loans and overdrafts.

Last year, the Ham&High reported cases of staff not being paid, and had passed to the Insolvency Service evidence showing there may be grounds to suspect banned company director Robert Newmark was still involved in running the business.

At the time, through lawyers, he said he had been giving "consultancy advice" to the restaurant which was not "in a management role and is not contrary to the restrictions placed upon him as a disqualified director". He said he had not breached the order in any other way.

Robert Newmark's son Brett, also the subject of a banning order, was also allegedly interviewing staff for positions at Cafe Hampstead. Their banning orders, made in June 2016, will end in 2020 and 2021.

Until December, the restaurant had been run by Cafe Hampstead Limited (CHL). However it went bust before Christmas, owing £346,000 to creditors, including the Hampstead Butcher and Providore just two doors away.

CHL's director Conor Thomson-Moore blamed high staff turnover, Brexit and negative reviews for the troubled restaurant's problems. A new company was started up shortly afterwards, Green Dollar Limited.

Ei Group plc said: "We are in ongoing discussions over the future of this site and are hoping to reopen the premises as soon as possible."

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