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Photograph: Scott Chasserot
Photograph: Scott Chasserot

Hoxton’s The Shepherdess Café has closed after 37 years

RIP to a Hoxton institution

Kate Lloyd

London lost an icon this week. The Shepherdess Café closed its doors after 37 years on City Road.

The legendary greasy spoon is one of a growing number of indie establishments that have been forced to shut over the past few months, thanks to the pressures of the pandemic. It was known for its cheap, tasty breakfasts, luminous green decor and celebrity regulars – All Saints, Barry from ‘EastEnders’ and Jamie Oliver have all been customers over the years. 

The owners posted on the caff’s Facebook page that the move has come after increased rent and ‘a lack of sympathy from agents and landlords’. They wrote: ‘A very big THANK YOU to all our staff who were loyal all those years and made the Shepherdess the friendly greasy spoon cafe that it was. We will miss you all but it is time to move on.’

The post now has nearly 100 comments under it from regulars, all showing their love for the local favourite and paying tribute to its sausage sandwiches, hash browns and friendly atmosphere. Some voiced concerns that it may be replaced by a chain coffee shop. I can’t believe such a unique London landmark is allowed to disappear, to make way for another boring corporate shop, lacking in style, character and quality, posted one customer. Or worse still another horrendous Starbucks! It’s a crime, and I’m heartbroken! It won’t ever be the same in Shepherdess Walk without the Shepherdess.’

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