Gutted diners call for restaurant to reopen

FANS of a popular Golders Green restaurant are still waiting for it to reopen after it was gutted by fire

Dina Rickman

FANS of a popular Golders Green restaurant are still waiting for it to reopen after it was gutted by fire.

Owners of Solly's on Golders Green Road said they would be back in business by Christmas after a fire tore through the building in September.

But three months on there is still no sign of the Israeli eatery serving up any dinners.

Solly's enthusiast Charlie Cohen from Chalk Farm said: "I passed Solly's during the fire. Golders Green Road was closed off and there was smoke in the air. I saw the fire trucks and everyone standing in the street outside, watching the fire. People started cheering when the firefighters put the fire out. It's really sad that it still hasn't re-opened, I can't wait until it does

When the fire struck, fans of Solly's set up a group on social networking website Facebook. It attracted more than 1,000 members and people now want to know when it will be re-opening.

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In a recent post one member of the group said: "Not open yet - Gutted!"

That sentiment is shared by Lily Ickowitz Seidler from Hampstead.

She said: "I have always loved Solly's and was devastated to hear about the fire. I was so excited for it to re-open this Christmas and I'm sad to hear it will take longer than was previously thought to open again."

Shaun Livingston, from Highgate, was equally upset at Solly's closure.

He said: "No other restaurants in the area have the same appeal. Before I went to university, I used to go to Solly's every Saturday night. I was looking forward to eating there over Christmas, this has really put a dampener on my festive cheer."

And an employee of the Jewish Learning Exchange, which is next door to Solly's, said: "They're not informing us, and we don't know what is going on."

Customers were led to safety when the fire started in the first floor of the restaurant on September 24. It damaged 20 per cent of the first floor and spread to the second floor and roof.

Owner Linda Sade told the Ham & High she was heartbroken at the time of the fire.

She said: "We have been open for 16 years and have never had any problems. It was an act of God - that's it."

The Ham&High contacted Solly's to find out when the restaurant would be reopening but nobody was available for comment.