A new fish and chip shop in an affluent neighbourhood has been forced to close for the summer after posh locals whinged that it smells – like FISH.
Food critic Jay Rayner gave United Chip a glowing review when he visited it in March – and described it as potentially ‘the bravest restaurant opening in years’ with ‘brilliant sauces and rather good chips.’
But residents and local businesses in posh Clerkenwell, central London, kicked up such a stink about the trendy chippy, that opened earlier this year, that owners have decided to close the doors for the remainder of the summer.
A resident from the neighbouring building said: “The smell was shocking.
“It was disgusting.
“In this heat, I prefer to have my windows open despite the noise from the road below.
“But the smell was unbearable.
“When I came home from work all I could smell was fish and chip fat.”
United Chip opened in the fashionable neighbourhood, where average flats cost upwards of £800,000 and rent is around £8,000 per month, earlier this year.
The upmarket menu contained Atlantic cod and Belgian ‘frites,’ as well as all-time favourites such as mushy peas and chips in a cone – and more exotic dishes like calamari or crab burgers.
A local pub landlord overheard many of his regulars complain about the new fast food joint in town.
He said: “One customer told me her colleague bought a box of fish and chips into the office for lunch.
“The smell was so bad, it smelt like off-fish.
“She told her she shouldn’t be eating that.”
Businesses based directly above the United Chip, were also significantly affected, where the large sash office windows face onto the street.
One business’ manager said: “We could definitely smell it.
“It was like a greasy smell of fried food.
“But I don’t think it was strong enough to get into the products we design and make here.
“The smell starts at lunchtime until the end of the day.
“A few staff members complained about it not being very nice.”
United Chip opened in February this year with foodies applauding the brand’s sustainable approach to food and packaging.
The shopfront noticeboard now informs customers of the unexpected closure.
It reads: “Due to odour complaints from local residents, we have had to close the shop for the remainder of the summer, while we address the problem.
“We hope to reopen soon.
“Thank you for your support. United Chip.”
Not everybody was happy that the chippy had closed.
Andrew Levene, a 41-year-old from Mill HIll, north west London, runs a production company on a nearby street and was a regular visitor.
He said: “They were really good people, selling really nice food and I don’t think it smelt.
“I didn’t have the fish, the chips were good though.
“It brought something a bit different to this area and that was nice.
“We would get a Friday takeaway three or four times before it closed.”
There is no current indication of when the United Chip will reopen or the severity of the complaints.
Islington Council have been contacted for comment.