‘I really want to believe break-in wasn’t antisemitic’ says owner of Belsize’s Roni’s Bagel Bakery
- Credit: Harry Taylor
Police are investigating whether an attack on an Israeli owned bagel shop in Belsize Park last Friday night had an antisemitic motive.
Vandals threw a plant pot through the front window of Roni’s Bagel Bakery, in Belsize Lane, before deliberately pouring cement into the drain and vandalising the water mains valve overnight last Friday during the Jewish Sabbath.
The Israeli owner Alon Kubi, who has run the Belsize branch of the cafe since 2011, discovered the smashed window as he turned up for work at 5am on Saturday morning.
He realised his drain had been cemented up when he tried to turn on taps inside the cafe and found problems with the water supply.
This double blow came on one of the busiest days of the week.
“We couldn’t wash up anything, so we couldn’t sell a lot of things, including food. I spent most of the day with my plumber trying to get the drain unblocked,” he said.
The smashed front window has now been covered over with wooden boards.
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Nothing was taken during the attack, which Mr Kubi believes was premeditated, and there was no sign of anybody entering the premises.
Mr Kubi says there was no indication it was an antisemitic attack, such as slogans or graffiti.
He said: “Customers were saying it was antisemitic. There have been a few events around us, but I really want to believe it isn’t to be honest.
“It does look premeditated, the stone they threw through the window is heavy, and they would have had to bring the cement.
“Perhaps it is jealousy, I don’t know. I can’t think of anybody who would do this.”
Mr Kubi believes the £10,000 repairs, on top of the loss of earnings on Saturday will take him several months worth of revenue to make up.
However, he is defiant about the effect on the business. The café is still open after the attack.
“It is an inconvenience, and a shame, but I don’t feel unsafe. We are still here.”
The Metropolitan Police said they were called to the shop at 4.35am on Saturday. They believe a man is responsible, and headed towards Haverstock Hill afterwards. They confirmed nobody has been arrested, and enquiries continue. Anyone with information can contact the police by calling 101.