A delicatessen that has been at the heart of the West End for more than 50 years and counts actors such as Vanessa Redgrave among its supporters is to close.
Gaby’s Deli has been based on Charing Cross Road for 53 years, but will close at the end of this month after its owner, Gaby Elyahou, announced his retirement at the age of 84.
Initial reports on social media suggested the restaurant was closing because of increased rental rates.
But employee Mehmet Kojman, who has worked at the deli for 40 years, said: “Gaby has decided to retire, that is why we have to go. He is 84 and can’t manage it anymore, and has no one to take over.”
Kojman added that the deli currently employs six people.
He added that many actors had frequented the deli over the years.
In 2011, a campaign was launched to save the deli after it was threatened with redevelopment, which won the support of Redgrave and other performers including Simon Callow.
But Kojman said: “The landlord has let us stay almost seven years, so we have nothing to complain about.”