London’s food scene may be a banger, but the city’s insane business rates and cost of living don’t show any sign of letting up – and it’s the little guys that suffer the most. So it goes with the iconic M.Manze pie and eel shop on Islington’s ever-salty Chapel Market, which is set to shutter this December.
It’s been open for 106 years (106!), and was owned by the Manze family itself until 1985. Current owner Tim Nicholls blamed a hike in business rates as the reason for the closure.
‘This goes to show the state the market is in at the moment. The rate hikes are hitting the small businesses while the big boys can survive. It’s a nail in the coffin of our market’s decline,’ said David Twydell, chairman of the Chapel Market Traders’ Association in an interview with the Islington Gazette.
Still, the Manze name remains semi-ubiquitous around London – there are shops derived from the same family in Bermondsey (well, Tower Bridge Road), Peckham, Sutton and Walthamstow. And that’s not all: when one life ends another begins (as the old adage goes, maybe), as Nicholls is opening a new branch of Manze in Braintree this weekend. Off to Essex with you!
As distraught as us? Show solidarity by working your way through our list of London’s best pie and mash shops.