Trade warned to be 'careful' when working with street-food pop ups

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Duke of Hamilton pub had to remove a popular burger hut
The Duke of Hamilton pub had to remove a popular burger hut

Related tags: Public house

An angry Hampstead publican has warned fellow operators to be on their guard when organising street-food residencies after he had to remove a burger shack from his pub garden.

Steve Coxshall, who runs the Duke of Hamilton in Hampstead, London, set up a popular burger shack with pop-up Cheeky Burger, but later had to demolish it after he was told he should have applied for planning permission.

“The planning officer came to the pub to discuss the shack and said it had to come down because it was a permanent structure,” Coxshall said. “He was very dismissive. People loved the burger hut - it was quirky, it was different and it was good food at pub prices. Part of the reason I created the hut was to be considerate to neighbours about noise and smells.

“Knocking it down has really dampened enthusiasm and it was having a great impact on trade so we’ve lost money. I really want to get the message out to other pubs that you have to be careful.”

He added that he felt the trading atmosphere for wet-led pubs was increasingly tough, especially in London.

“The writing is on the wall for wet-led pubs, especially in Hampstead where it’s all gastropubs and chains.”

However, Camden Council said it had tried to help the pub keep the pop-up going. Councillor Phil Jones said: “Camden is determined to back all local businesses to be successful- however, they must abide by our planning guidance. In this case, a timber shed was not an appropriate addition to the public house frontage, which is part of the Hampstead Conversation Area. We’ve been keen to help the business by suggesting alternative, temporary stands which would allow the pub to continue selling burgers in the garden. Our offer of help remains on the table.”

Earlier this year, Enterprise and British Street Food launched an app​ designed to connect Enterprise licensees with more than 1,500 street-food vendors. Licensees use the app to contact street-food providers and arrange residencies.

Founder of British Street Food Richard Johnson said street-food vendors and publicans could “stand to learn a lot” from each other. 

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