It is heart-breaking to announce that Simpsons Tavern has been forced to close.
We have been faithfully serving up British dining history by the slice, pound or gram since 1757.
For 265 years we have stood, undaunted by fire, flood, world wars, plague (or pandemic – you choose) and even Liz Truss’s premiership. Today though we have been forced into closure by the actions of a cynical landlord. Carelessly removing a centuries old City of London institution.
Our locks have been changed; our lights turned out. The team displaced with stock spoiling in the fridges as the Landlord refuses to engage, seemingly determined to deliberately close the business and remove from the City of London a landmark. A centuries old venue who has placed host to generations of the market
We are seeking to raise a figure of £385,000 to ensure the future of this institution in its entirety
We have a secure "within the Act" Lease, which means if we can raise sufficient funds and pay back the arrears the Landlord has to let us back in for the remainder of our lease (The irony here, is we are a solvent on going concern, we just do not have access to funds of this level all at once. This is what the Landlord is so cynically leveraging. We can pay down, we cannot pay up)
We are though faced with a number of further costs to bare.The rent and arrears also include a heft service charge and insurance charges making them the lions share, but this action has forced a number of further issues:
Not least, telling a loyal team, some of whom have been there decades, that we are being forced to make them redundant just before Christmas. The redundancy is now either way unavoidable and with length of service challenging to fund. I really do feel for the team as they will struggle to find a role similar even with an over stocked jobs market, the customers were always generous, but at Christmas, they had an opportunity to earn very well. Part of all monies raised, will be used to support the team
With business normally at a peak during this period, we have been evicted at the one time the we would be able to raise capital to support the business going forward. Instead we are facing considerable Legal fees for litigation which will require funding. We are determined to keep this fight up and raise awareness, but this. like all life is costly
Our sector is hard work and narrow margins, and cash flow kills more than anything. If we are saving Simpsons, we must triage the patient and ensure it can survive rather than prolong an agonising goodbye.
We have been asked about exchange of funding for debt as this would be seen and the Crowdfunder are reviewing how that could be placed. Currently it is against the T & Cs.
It would be a tragedy to see this unique part of the City of London and indeed this nations history turn off the lights forever
I fear, without the support there is no road back for this historic institution. The venue and stories soaked into its walls will be lost. Once we leave, we take it all and the shell that held us, may come to market, but it will never be the same again. Another part of heritage and shared history snuffed out.
Gone will be a venue whose customers previously bragged about who had been coming the longest or ate the most Stewed Cheese and whose secrets were always kept!
I hate to beg, I am a professional who is good at their job, but the odds without support are too high, so please, I ask you...