One last sad lunch at Food for Thought, it closes on Sunday after forty years in business, driven out of business by a greedy grasping landlord driving up the rent to an unaffordable level.
I usually enjoy my food at Thought for Thought. But not today. I think partly my choice, I chose quiche and salad, a mistake, I should have had the soup, followed by stir-fried vegetables and rice. But I think also that it was my last meal, that it was closing.
For dessert, scrunch.
I would have liked to have bought their cookbook, but they had none, try later in the week.
Food for Thought has been there since the 1970s, the food has been consistently good.
When Covent Garden market pulled out, the area was desolate, it was earmarked for redevelopemnt. Activists stopped the redevelopment. But what we have seen is a slow death. he samlll businesses that made it what it was , leaving, to be replaced by chains.
In the 1970s, there were many small businesses like Food For Thought.
Next door, was a barrow maker. In the street the barrows.
In thes ummer, we used to get our food, take it outside an sit on the barrows.
In Neal’s Yard Neal Yard Wholefood, Neal’s Yard Bakery, Neal’s Yard Dairy. All long gone.
In one of the side streets, Pret a Manger, Costa, in Neal Street sweatshop fashion chains.
Small businesses are being destroyed by property companies. Social cleansing is taking place, people kicked out of their homes, bulldozed, luxury apartments built, marketed in the Middle East, China and Russia.
There are now several empty premises in Neal Street, including one next to Food for Thought. Will the vacated Food for Thought join the list? The greedy property company will not care, one more business destroyed. If it sits empty they will offset the losses against tax.
We need political action to stop the destruct of the social fabric of our cities.
We have to have rent control as in New York. We have to have protection for small businesses as they have in France.