New China restaurant on Gerrard Street — in the heart of London’s Chinatown — will be closed “for months” after a fire Sunday morning. Owner Peter Ren told the BBC that his restaurant would be closed long term, after 80 firefighters were called out at 8:44a.m. on Sunday 22 September.
While no-one was injured, the Caterer reports that two people were led to safety by the London Fire Brigade after the fire destroyed the third floor of the restaurant and left the second floor seriously damaged; four more people had already left the restaurant before 12 fire engines arrived on the scene.
Ren, whose restaurant serves a menu that spans China’s regional cuisines, is a well-known figure in the restaurant community. He took part in the Chinatown immigration raid protest over repeated discriminatory and overly forceful enforcement from the Home Office, telling CNN at the time:
“They (officers) blocked a street for three hours and we can’t even do business ... It’s a small area, and the number of raids they’re doing is out of proportion and heavy-handed,” he said, adding, “I’m not against immigrant checks. But treat the Chinese community fairly.”