Spiralling rent closes beloved Highgate butchers

A popular butchers which has served the community for 30 years is to close after its owner chose to retire early because of spiralling rents.

Martin Leahy, master butcher at Elite Meats in Swains Lane, Highgate, will hang up his apron for good on Saturday.

The 71-year-old said he cannot afford to keep the shop open any longer because his rent will be too high after his five-year lease expires this month.

His landlord has offered him a two-month extension but Mr Leahy said he would rather retire earlier than planned than lose money on re-stocking the shop.

Mr Leahy, of Stanmore, said: “Rents will drive a lot of people out, especially in food, because supermarkets keep cutting prices to keep up with each other.”