Da Maria, the 37 year old Neapolitan neighbourhood restaurant in Notting Hill, which faced forced closure because of a local planning application, has announced that it is to remain open — and that the application to extend the adjacent Gate Cinema foyer has been denied.
Last month, Eater London reported on the restaurant’s petition to prevent a plan submitted to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea from being granted permission. The restaurant critic Jay Rayner raised awareness among the restaurant industry when he reviewed the restaurant and reported its fate on 17 September.
Luciano, Maria and Pasquale Ruocco, the family who have operated the restaurant since 1980 had told Eater London that they’d been “overwhelmed by the amount of support we are receiving, and we cannot thank every one enough. People from all over the world have been signing a petition set up online, it's amazing. The decision however lies with the RBKC...all we can do now is just hope that a positive decision comes our way."
Today Change.org, the website on which the owners launched their petition and which has gained 3,561 signatures, posted a message from the owners. It reads:
We still cannot believe it. The application to extend the Gate Cinema's foyer has been DENIED. This would have never happened if it wasn't for every single one of you. The support from all over the world and every signature on our petition was vital. Thank you Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This decision is of extreme importance, not only for our family, but for our community. We know the battle doesn't end here, but thanks to every single one of you, we now know we have the right people to support us! The fight continues. Grazie, grazie, GRAZIE!
The writer Ed Vulliamy, below right, was noted by the owners for being a “driving force. He put his heart and soul into this from day 1, his speech at the meeting changed everything.”
Elsewhere, Robert Freeman, a councillor Kensington and Chelsea councillor and former mayor, tweeted his congratulations.
Other high-profile supporters of the restaurant’s cause include the professor Paul Gilroy, who cautioned that the restaurant is “safe for now.”