Historic London meatmonger’s faces eviction

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Historic London meatmonger’s faces eviction

Simpson's was founded in 1757 on Cornhill, where influential people met to trade and do deals over lunch, long before the emergence of modern skyscrapers of glass and steel that surround it today.

Customers used to be able to look at what meat was on offer, select their preferred cut and watch as it was cooked on charcoal grills in front of them - a service provided by Simpson's until 1979.

It sits on the capital's Heritage Walk and is a frequent stop for tourists on guided tours who are attracted to its rich history and famous former clients, including Charles Dickens.

After the UK went into lock-in in March 2020, Simpson built up large sizeable rent arrears - of more than 300,000 - and eventually the landlord changed the locks and demanded payment in full.

Benjamin Duggan, the general manager of Simpson's, said it has been extraordinarily difficult for the team. They have done nothing wrong, but now we're sadly going through redundancy conversations with people who've worked with us for decades.

I've been lucky enough to be the custodian for many years, and I can feel the heritage and significance of people as they come through. He added: The time, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the claret soaked into the walls, the stories absorbed by the furniture that can't be replicated anywhere else.

My only hope is that the landlord and their agents will come to some reasonable sense and understand the damage that they are doing to the historic institution, Mr Duggan said.

I rely on them coming back, sitting down at the table, talking about a way through and allowing this piece of history to trade and live on. Simpson's landlord, Bermuda-based Tavor Holdings, said it made allowances during the lock downs but since July 2021 it has been trying to come to an agreement to get the money it is owed.

The firm said in a statement that the issue is with the tenant, not Simpson's. The tenant, Restaurant EC 3 Limited, is under the control of its sole director and owner, Sarvindra Singh.

The city of London councillor Peter Dunphy has filed a request to list the venue as an asset of community value - a designation that aims to protect civic buildings, schools, pubs and open spaces that further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.