Over the past few months we've reported on a lot of restaurant closures. But we're personally gutted to have heard the news last night that Piebury Corner will not be reopening either of its restaurants.
We've been following Paul and Nicky Campbell's story ever since they first set up a pie stall around the corner from where we lived, back in 2011. As their house was on one of the main roads towards Emirates Stadium, the couple, who are huge Gooners themselves, decided to set up a business supplying passing fans with great pies. They soon made a name for themselves, not least because of pie names like The Tony Adams (steak and ale) and the Bob Wilson (Scotch pie).
Success came quickly, with a Piebury Deli opening up on Holloway Road and then King's Cross. But the popular pre and post-match venue for thousands of Arsenal fans posted on Facebook yesterday that they'd taken the hard decision to close.
"Covid19 has put us in an impossible situation financially with landlords at both sites still demanding rent in full plus all the other fixed overheads due on top," said owner Paul, "so we will not be opening back up at our existing restaurants.
Key to the decision was the fact that so much of their business comes from Arsenal fans heading to the Emirates on match day. Resumption of attended sporting events still seems some way off and that was the death knell for the pie business.
"Full attendance at The Emirates looks like a full season away yet possibly longer until they find a vaccine," said Paul. "We do not have the financial resources to last that long trading at a loss under the current social distance guidelines."
On the upside, fans may one day be able to enjoy their pies on match day whenever that resumes, as they're looking at a pitch site for a pie stall, returning to their roots. And, as Paul says, "please continue to support all the independent pubs and restaurants around the stadium, they need your support more than ever now."
Meanwhile, here's how their many, many fans reacted on social to news of the closure:
Paul, Nicki I'm gutted to read this. So sorry. Paul message me if there is anything we can do to help. Sending my love and strength to you and all the staff. ♥️— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) August 19, 2020
Look forward to coming back for a pie soon. Keep strong Paul.— Joao Castelo-Branco (@j_castelobranco) August 19, 2020
So sorry to hear this. Sad loss for the area too. I’ll be in the queue for your stall.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 19, 2020
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