'Tearing down culture': Popular Bradbury Street takeaway shut down

All Island Grill was shut down several weeks ago

All Island Grill was shut down several weeks ago - Credit: Ava Vidal

A popular Caribbean take-away in Hackney has been shut down leading to accusations of gentrification in Dalston. 

But Hackney Council has said All Island Grill was unlawfully converted from a shop in 2016 and has "never had permission for use as a takeaway".

All Island Grill posted on Instagram on January 8.

Its post stated: "Due to complaints of smoke in the area All Island Grill will be closed for the foreseeable future.

"We are currently searching for another location within the area."

Commenters on social media have claimed it was complaints of grill smoke, made by residents living in the new Fifty Seven East development which led to All Island Grill being closed. 

But the council says its action to shut down the takeaway predates the development behind Dalston Kingsland station, which has been accused of gentrifying the area.

All Island Grill was a popular Caribbean take-away on Bradbury Street

All Island Grill was a popular Caribbean take-away on Bradbury Street - Credit: Ava Vidal

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Twitter user Ash Magic believes this to be the case and described the closing down of All Island Grill as "tearing down culture" and people's livelihood. 

A council spokesperson said: "Our action long predates the new development nearby and the residents most affected by this are those in the Victorian properties closer to the building."

Hackney resident Josh Dell was shocked to hear the news, telling the Gazette: "It's an incredible place. A lot of homeless people would come into the shop and [the owner] would always give them food. It was super communal."

The council spokesperson said enforcement is only ever used "as a last resort". 

"We spent over two years trying to work with the owner to put this right before issuing a notice in 2019," they said.

The takeaway's owner appealed in October last year but the 2019 enforcement notice was upheld by the planning inspector.

They found that the building's use as a takeaway was "harmful to the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers", due to the impact of noise, from the takeaways extractor fan, and "odour" affecting residents living nearby. 

“The owner has had more than five years to to seek permission to use the building as a takeaway and to install a suitable extraction system, and this option remains available to them," the council spokesperson stated.