Have you room for another? Long-standing Hampstead crêpe stand faces competition
King William IV pub allows new operator to move in but says there's enough customers for everyone
03 December, 2020 — By Harry Taylor
La Crêperie de Hampstead is joined by La Crêperie
IT appeared to be ladles at dawn in Hampstead this weekend, as a crêpe war broke out between two rival stands.
But both outlets’ owners insist there are no hard feelings.
The sight of the long, winding queue of La Crêperie de Hampstead has been a common sight in front of the King William IV pub for more than 40 years.
Models Kate Moss and Kelly Brook, and One Direction star Harry Styles have been among its famous customers. But at the weekend there was a new folded pancake seller in town, as a stall was opened yards away. Its name was even similar to the existing hut, calling itself “La Crêperie”.
King William IV landlord Jimmy McGrath is involved with the new stall, but said he does not run it directly, and that he had been approached by someone wanting a pitch.
“There’s enough for three crêpe stalls, never mind two,” Mr McGrath said.
“It wasn’t my idea. “I’ve heard there are people who have been queuing for two hours before, so there’s enough for everybody. We’ve not been able to make any money for several months this year, so it’s only fair.
“There’s no issue, it’s about competition and that’s the best thing that can happen for everyone.” He also confirmed that the stall was going to change its name, and there had not been any intention to sound like the existing outlet.
La Crêperie de Hampstead’s manager Redouane Ait Iich said he was taken by surprise by the arrival of his new competitors, but isn’t upset.
He said: “No one gave us any clues or didn’t ask us or anything. Everybody is allowed to sell everything. I understand, with coronavirus it’s very hard. The thing is that they are selling exactly what we do. They even called themselves ‘La Crêperie’ like us.
“Even the customers were surprised. Some people were queuing there because they just thought it was a second stall so we could go faster, but that’s not the case.”