Restaurants and pubs vandalised and forced to close in London riots

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags London

On-lookers survey the destruction around Clapham Junction following the London riots
On-lookers survey the destruction around Clapham Junction following the London riots
Restaurants and pubs across the capital were among the businesses vandalised in the riots which have broken out across many parts of London over the past few days.

A JD Wetherspoon's pub - The Great Harry - was set alight in Woolwich with many others across the capital reportedly vandalised and others closed as the riots, which started in Tottenham, North London on Saturday night, spread to areas including Brixton, Hackney, Peckham, Lewisham, Ealing, Clapham Junction and Croydon.

Early closure

Other hospitality businesses, both within the affected areas and nearby, decided to close up early, both to protect the business and to ensure staff made it home safely. St John Bread & Wine was one that closed early to ensure its staff could get home safely.

"No trouble at Spitalfields, but many staff live in affected areas, have family in Hackney etc. Sorry to close but needs must. Be safe all," a spokesman announced on Twitter early yesterday evening.

Keith Knowles, managing director of budget accommodation and pub group Beds and Bars told BigHospitality's sister publication The Morning Advertiser​ that all London sites were closed last night. "Some on advice of police, some through being prudent," he said. "Camden, and our City site were worst affected."

Pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) said it took police advice and closed some businesses early in affected areas, although the vast majority of its estate is trading in the 'usual manner' and remains unaffected by the trouble.

"Looking ahead, it is our intention to trade our businesses as normal but we will take appropriate action based on our own assessments of specific situations as well as police advice," it said in a statement.

Smashed windows

In Notting Hill, Ottolenghi, Bumpkin and The Walmer pub all suffered smashed windows while The Ledbury was raided by looters who threatened diners with makeshift weapons to make them hand over their valuables.

A number of restaurants, cafes and pubs in Ealing, including O'Neill's, were damaged and, or looted while Nando's in Brixton was also looted by thugs.

Outside the capital, Jamie Oliver reported that his Birmingham Jamie's Italian has been forced to close today after windows were smashed last night and M&B said Nicholson's pub The Shakespeare had sustained 'minor glass damage'. No-one was hurt in either attack.

The Metropolitan Police, who put an extra 2,500 officers on the streets, said last night was the worst it had seen 'in current memory for unacceptable levels of widespread looting, fires and disorder'

So far more than 450 people have been arrested in connection with the riots over three nights.

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