Hampstead landlady wins battle over 'leeching' creperie neighbour

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house

Pub landlady Elaine Loughran says she has "no problem" with the creperie stall anymore
Pub landlady Elaine Loughran says she has "no problem" with the creperie stall anymore
A Hampstead licensee has won her longstanding battle with a creperie stall owner who had been using her land and water for four years.

Edward de Mesquita, owner of La Creperie de Hampstead stall on Hampstead High Street, London, has removed a large fridge and other facilities from the King William IV pub and kitchen – the use of which are legally within his rights.

It came after the landlady’s solicitor threatened to turn off the stall’s water, gas and electricity because he said he cannot afford to take the pub to court.

The stall will remain on the pavement next to the pub but the owner will now use facilities at a nearby shop instead.

The owners of the two businesses have been at loggerheads over the creperie’s use of the pub’s land and garden since Elaine Loughran started running the pub four years ago.

Both the stall and the pub are owned by Star Pubs & Bars and although the pub company confirmed that the fridge and preparation area were “legally occupied” by the stall the agreement was not included in Loughran’s lease.

Problem solved

Loughran said she is pleased the facilities have been removed and has “no problem” with the creperie stall anymore.

“They were taking over our pub, my solicitor said they had to leave, and now they have there is no problem.

“We’re both trading away and the situation has been resolved. The creperie owner has found different premises to use.”

She added that she has asked the stall owner to contribute towards an £8,000 water bill but this payment “will be dealt with later”.

'Threats and sabotage'

However, De Mesquita said he was upset by the way he had been treated by the pub’s landlady and although local and national press has stated that the feud between the businesses were over “this could not be further from the truth”.

“We are still living under duress, receiving threats and sabotage every day.

“I haven’t got £30,000 to fight in a court case and Star weren’t prepared to do so either. But it is completely wrong to suggest that this thing is over. We don’t know what she is going to do next to sabotage our business.”

He added that he received a letter from Loughran’s solicitor threatening to cut off his water, gas and electricity by 15 August if he did not agree to “outrageous” demands.

“It’s like something out of The Godfather – an offer you can’t refuse. It’s a culture I just can’t handle,” he continued.

Temporary business

The creperie stall is temporarily continuing to run using the facilities from a nearby shop but de Mesquita said if he does not secure somewhere permanent the creperie will have to close.

A local petition campaigning to save the creperie has more than 7,500 signatures from the local community and de Mesquita said he is considering seeking a community fund to keep the business going.

A Star Pubs & Bars spokesperson said: “I can confirm that the creperie is still operating but that its fridge and other facilities have been moved from the pub area.

“A decision has been made not to comment on the specifics of this case in detail with a view to helping both parties come to a sensible resolution.”

Related topics: Legislation

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