Willesden man set to lose his businesses to make way for restaurant chain

Chain to replace ‘devastated’ Gaby’s popular diner

A Willesden man who has run a popular delicatessen for 46 years has been left �devastated by the closure of his business to make way for a restaurant chain.

Gaby Elyahou, 70, of Milverton Road, has been running the �popular Gaby’s Deli on Charing Cross Road, near Leicester Square, since 1965.

Originally from Israel, Gaby, who has lived in Brent since coming to the UK more than four decades ago, is being forced to close for good �after his landlords refused to �renew his lease.

Gaby’s Deli serves a wide range of food, including Middle Eastern delicacies and vegetarian options.

Gaby said: “London is changing, I don’t understand it, every day you see a new big chain restaurant bubbling up. People like us, because we can offer something different, but that is getting harder to find now.”

The application, made by planning consultants Montague Evans on behalf of freeholders Gascoyne Holdings, was given the green light last week.

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A further three other independent shops like Gaby’s including a newsagents and a souvenir shop will also close.

He said: “We have regular customers a lot of whom are from the same family; generations of people come here having heard about us from their parents.

“We are popular with people from all over the world. We are one of the only places that sells salt beef so the Americans love coming here. Why would you want to swap all that for something you can get anywhere?”

The delicatessen will close next September and Gaby is unsure where his future lies.

He said: “Places are opening and closing all the time now and competition is unbelievable. After nearly 50 years it’s hard to know what to do with yourself.”

A spokeman from Gascoyne Holdings LTD, said: “We are one of the biggest supporters of independent businesses in London. However, we needed to invest in the property for it to reach its full potential.”