Lawyers called in as row erupts between popular Hampstead crepe stand and King William IV pub next door
- Credit: Polly Hancock
A bitter row has broken out between a much-loved crepe stand in the heart of Hampstead and the historic pub next door.
La Creperie De Hampstead and the King William IV pub could be heading for a legal wrangle after tensions between the owners reached boiling point.
Both have called in solicitors amid claims from creperie owner Edward de Mesquita that the pub is trying to turf him out after more than three decades.
He even claims beer barrel deliveries are being timed to clash with the lunchtime rush so vans will be parked in front of the stall.
“The woman in the pub is determined to get rid of us,” he said. “We have been through three years of hell since she took over in 2010.”
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The creperie has been a popular presence since it opened in 1980 at the pub’s side, on the junction of Hampstead High Street and Perrin’s Lane.
But Elaine Loughran, who has managed the pub since 2010, insists it has been a “huge infringement” on her business for far too long.
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She said: “We are not trying to close it down, we have simply asked him to move his fridge off our property.
“He has a huge fridge the size of an apartment in our garden and it’s time for him to find his own space.”
She added: “The queue blocks the pub and we have asked them to run it up in Perrin’s Lane instead, but they have refused.
“The owner says he has been here for 30 years, but the pub has been here for 300. It’s a huge infringement on my business.”
Ms Loughran’s company Eat Pubs Ltd is the leasehold owner of the King William, while Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars has the freehold.
Mr de Mesquita insists space for his fridge is agreed as part of his own lease with Star Pubs, but Ms Loughran disputes this fact, saying she has provided it out of goodwill.
Her lawyers have now written to the creperie demanding an end to “the current arrangements” by August 31.
Mr de Mesquita said: “Eat Pubs are telling us they are going to go and get bailiffs and get rid of us, but our lease is not with them.”
Jessica Learmond-Criqui, a solicitor who leads the Hampstead Shops Campaign, said: “The creperie is part of the foundations of Hampstead and creates part of its bohemian feel.
“It helps make Hampstead what it is, so if the pub can find a way to allow it to stay, the community would be very grateful indeed.”