Croydon restaurant could leave the borough
One of Croydon’s finest restaurants is threatening to leave the borough.
Top chef Malcolm John has warned he could join high-profile names like Nestle and Bank of America by moving his award-winning restaurant, Le Cassoulet, out of town.
Opening in February 2008 as Mr John’s second establishment Le Cassoulet, in Selsdon Road, has received rave reviews, including three stars from food critic AA Gill.
Mr John, who lives in the borough and also runs Fish & Grill in South End, is angry slipping standards could force his hand.
He said: “When I opened three-and-a half-years ago the road was in good health, there were no boarded-up shop fronts.
“Now there are more shops boarded up than trading.
“There are two betting shops nearby and my customers are being harassed by alcoholics.
“My customers sit and look out the window and are faced by overflowing bins across the road. I have spoken to the council about this, but nothing is done.”
Mr John, who also runs restaurants in Putney, Chiswick and Sutton, said his other businesses were doing well, but trade had been down for the past six months in Croydon.
He said: “The impact of the riots can’t be underestimated.
“People just aren’t coming to Croydon from our neighbouring boroughs anymore.
“Nestle is going, and with them some of my customers, and Allders has gone under.
“I love Croydon – I live here – but I am seriously considering moving Le Cassoulet to a more prominent location. It may be in the borough, it may be out of Croydon altogether.”
The chef, who was born in St Vincent, but moved to England at the age of four, said he would make his decision by the end of the year.
He said: “It is not a small thing for me to say.
“I get long-term bookings so for me to say I may move, I risk losing business, but something needs to be done.
“The road needs to be tidied up and there needs to be a bigger police presence to deter the people who leave rubbish in the street and harrass my customers.
“People come from out of Croydon, they see this and it drives home the unjust stigma of Croydon.”
A council spokesman said: “Senior councillors and council officers are going to be arranging a meeting with Mr John and possibly with other businesses in the area to discuss these concerns and seek solutions to any problems that are identified as being under the council’s control.”