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Revealed: Who is owed money as Café Hampstead goes bust owing £346k

PUBLISHED: 12:09 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:12 28 January 2019

Café Hampstead, which remains open despite being liquidated. Picture: Polly Hancock

Café Hampstead, which remains open despite being liquidated. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The Ham&High can reveal the extent of who was owed money by Café Hampstead when it went into liquidation earlier this month.

Philip Matthews, who is owed £1499, inside the Hampstead Butcher. Picture: Polly HancockPhilip Matthews, who is owed £1499, inside the Hampstead Butcher. Picture: Polly Hancock

According to the Statement of Affairs document, produced by the restaurant’s liquidator Quantuma, 34 businesses and authorities are owed money for services provided to the Hampstead restaurant.

The owings range from the £144,080 owed to HMRC to the £8.79 debt to energy provider Eon.

Last week this newspaper reported the eatery also owed money to the Hampstead Butcher and Providore which is two doors away in Rosslyn Hill.

The restaurant racked up a £1,799 bill for meat and other produce supplied by the shop. Its owner, Philip Matthews, obtained a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against the business and managed to recoup £500 before he got a letter on December 20 saying the company was “commencing liquidation proceedings to wind up the company voluntarily”.

Staff are also believed to be owed wages by the business.

According to Companies House, Café Hampstead Ltd has one director, Conor Thomson-Moore. The business’ record on the official company registry was updated last week to say it had gone into liquidation.

A Ham&High investigation last year found the business was linked to banned company director Robert Newmark.

The Insolvency Service launched a fresh investigation into Mr Newmark’s business dealings after evidence showed the restaurant owed staff thousands of pounds in unpaid wages, and he had been involved in running it. This breached a 2016 order banning him from managing a company.

Robert Newmark at his former Hampstead home in 2015. Picture: Tom DunkleyRobert Newmark at his former Hampstead home in 2015. Picture: Tom Dunkley

Mr Thomson-Moore apologised to creditors and said the business was now under new ownership. He blamed a high staff turnover, Brexit and negative reviews for the troubled restaurant’s problems.

He said: “It has been an extremely hard time for me personally, When I set out to create Café Hampstead I never expected this would happen and I can only apologise to the creditors who are owed money.

“I tried to keep up with various payment plans to creditors, but the financial pressure built up to a level that I could no longer sustain. I unfortunately had to move out of my house at the end of September 2018 in a last desperate attempt to raise funds and unfortunately liquidation seemed very regrettably the only honourable option under the circumstances. With the decline in sales in the leisure industry as a whole caused by the uncertainty of Brexit, It’s become extremely harder to find European staff, on which we solely relied.”

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