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Islington Restaurant Closed by Fire Now Held to Ransom by Squatters

Chinese Laundry on Upper Street has posted a series of frustrated messages on Instagram today

Chinese Laundry, closed since a fire in February, now set-back by squatters on the premises
Chinese Laundry

Chinese Laundry, the restaurant on Upper Street in Islington that fell victim to a major fire and forced closure in February and which was due to reopen in May, appears to have suffered another set-back. In a series of posts on Instagram today, the restaurant’s premises is alleged to have been occupied by squatters who, the owners say are refusing to move out.

“They are after money settlement and A LOT,” the Chinese Laundry Instagram account writes. “We saw our lighting swinging inside, they step on the joist and furnitures, we have to see this happening and they know we have to pay for legal process to get rid of this ridiculous situation.”

In a subsequent post, one of the co-owners, Peiran Gong, writes “GAME OVER.”

“I wish the world is fucking nice place! But it is not, the systems is so fucking rotten. As small business owners, we are not protected.... [the squatters] have damage our property, they are using the utility, they are commuting crime,,,, still the police is doing nothing?!!!!! those squatters are not willing to go to the shelters we recommended, we offer the ride to the shelter, we offer the only cash we can afford. They said they cannot move outside London even we offer food, rides money, coz they work in London?!!! WTF!!!!! I don’t care your freaking political opinion on this.... it is so fucking absurd... piece of shit!!!! I’m going to be stop being nice! You are not after money!? Bullshit! Fucking bullshit!!!!!”

The restaurant — opened by friends Peiran Gong and Tongtong Ren in November 2015 — was inspired, but not constrained, by the traditional Chinese cuisine they grew up with in the 1980s. Initially starting out as an all-day breakfast spot — including bao — over time it introduced a dinner menu. A month after it opened, Times critic Giles Coren awarded it a broadly favourable review at a time when the restaurant looked to be gaining some traction; even if the place was deemed not entirely flawless, it was enjoyed for its creativity, novelty and a special crispy scallion pancake.

The owners did not immediately respond when contacted by Eater London this afternoon. Stay tuned for further updates on the situation.

Chinese Laundry

10 Coulgate Street, , England SE4 2RW Visit Website