Where next for the Camden Art Cafe collective after they vacate Gordon Ramsay’s pub?

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A group occupied Gordon Ramsay’s York and Albany pub near Regent’s Park as the “collective Camden Art Cafe”.

Squatters who had been occupying Gordon Ramsay’s Grade II listed gastropub in north London have vacated the building after being served legal papers.

The group of at least six people took over Ramsay’s £13m York and Albany pub, on the edge of Regent’s Park, early last week.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Having occupied the space as the “collective Camden Art Cafe”, they said they intended to use the building to provide free food and drinks, and a space for people to display their art.

But on Tuesday (April 16) they were served papers after Ramsay filed for High Court proceedings against them.

According to the Standard, the proceedings were filed by Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited, against “persons unknown”.

In a statement on Instagram, the Camden Art Cafe said: “We are sad to announce Camden Art Collective have left the building after being served papers yesterday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We wish those left in the building the best of luck in their endeavours. We hope to be part of the community again soon, watch this space.”

Squatters boarded up the windows of the York & Albany in CamdenSquatters boarded up the windows of the York & Albany in Camden
Squatters boarded up the windows of the York & Albany in Camden | Lynn Rusk

Why did the Camden Art Collective take over Gordon Ramsay’s pub?

The Camden Art Collective said it had wanted to open their doors to the “people of Camden who have been victims of gentrification and parasitic projects like HS2”.

In a statement released to Freedom News, the group said: “Camden is a borough with one of the biggest wealth disparities in London, so it seems only fitting that £13 million properties that most locals would never be able to afford to visit should be opened up to all. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The York and Albany is an iconic building in Camden since its opening in the 1820s; it has withstood wars and bombs, and despite what the media says, it will withstand the potentially short but hopefully long stay we squatters have here. At a time when Camden market has been bought out by a billionaire and many long standing local businesses are being evicted from their units, it’s even more important that we all band together in all the forms of resistance that we know and can.

“We extend our particular solidarity to the Palestinian people and the longstanding residents of Drummond Street and the surrounding estates who have had their whole lives upturned by HS2.”

The collective appeared to be linked to the Autonomous Winter Shelter, which had previously occupied a former convent in east London. The group had helped dozens of homeless people over several months before being evicted from the premises by police last summer.

Locals’ reaction

The week-long occupation of the York and Albany pub was met with curiosity by some Camden locals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cal, who works at a local school, had been checking on the building over the last few days.

“A few weeks ago I saw people taking down all the bits and I thought maybe the restaurant is closing. Then I saw it in the news,” she told LondonWorld.

“I was wondering who it was because they seemed kind of organised in terms of what they put on the sign saying that they were allowed to squat there because it wasn’t a residential building.

“I was interested to know more about it and obviously I don’t know about their politics. I know there’s a big homeless population in Camden so I was wondering if it's to do with that as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think the general Camden community would have been interested in the art cafe. There’s another free food place around the road.”

What do we know about the York and Albany pub?

Ramsay had leased the York and Albany site from its film director Gary Love who had bought the freehold in 2007.

The celebrity chef took on a 25-year year lease for an annual rent of £640,000. In 2015 he lost a High Court battle to free himself from the lease.

The gastropub closed its doors last month and has been listed with a guide price of £13m.

LondonWorld has contacted Gordon Ramsay’s team and the squat collective for comment.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.