13.2 C
London
Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dramatic dining: Sieges and shootouts

London restaurants where diners got more than they bargained for

 

In the first in a series, we tell the stories of five restaurants in Central London where diners sadly got a little more than dinner. All bar Walton’s are still open.

 

The Spaghetti House siege

The Spaghetti House siege resulted in the main road in Knightsbridge being closed for a number of days
The Spaghetti House siege resulted in the main road in Knightsbridge being closed for a number of days

On the 28th September 1975, three gunmen led by a Nigerian named Franklin Davies attempted to rob the £13,000 takings at Knightsbridge’s Spagetti House. The robbery didn’t go to plan and nine staff were taken hostage and kept in the basement for six days. The gunmen claimed to represent the Black Liberation Army, a Black Panther splinter group, but this was never proven. Davies and his cohorts received long jail sentences.

 

The Carlton Tower drive-by

Earlier in 1975, on the 19th January, the Irish Republican Army fired shots into the Carlton Tower Hotel on Cadogan Place. Fortunately, a table by the window in the hotel’s restaurant, The Rib Room, was placed a right angle to the window and as a result the bullets passed between diners with no injuries.

 

The Scott’s shooting and bombing

Also in 1975, the notorious Balcombe Street gang, part of a six-man IRA Active Service Unit, both bombed and fired gunshots through the windows of Scott’s Oyster Bar in Mayfair’s Mount Street on separate occasions. On the 12th November, the bomb thrown through the restaurant’s window by the gang killed one person and injured fifteen others. The IRA unit returned and shot out the windows on the 6th December but having been spotted by two police officers, they were chased through the streets and a five-day siege commenced in Balcombe Street. In turn, each defendant was given a whole life tariff.

 

The Walton’s bombing

The aftermath of the bombing of Walton's on the corner of Walton Street and Draycott Avenue
The aftermath of the bombing of Walton’s on the corner of Walton Street and Draycott Avenue

On the 18th November 1975, two diners were killed and another 23 injured when members of the IRA threw a bomb into Walton’s Restaurant in Walton Street. The building, on the corner of Draycott Avenue, became the first location of the Itsu sushi chain in 1997.

 

The Harry Morgan’s shooting

More recently, in 2009, a gunman with two pistols chased a man into the New York deli style Harry Morgan’s restaurant in St John’s Wood High Street and fired several times. Diners, who numbered the BBC’s chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym and former S Club singer Rachel Stevens, hid under the tables. Two people were injured and the restaurant reopened a month later after redecoration and revisions to the menu.

 

 

Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter at: http://thesteepletimes.com/subscribe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Beer is Very Good For You

Dutch scientist Professor Eric Claassen confirms a beer a day “would be very good for you” and suggests drinking such protects against insomnia, dementia and obesity.

An Eaton Mess

80 Eaton Square apartment for sale for £22.5 million in spite of needing complete renovation; it is listed at a price 25% cheaper than it was five years earlier through Chestertons.

Desmond Dropped

Ex-Daily Express owner Richard Desmond’s plans for a 1,500 apartment complex kicked out as Tory housing minister Robert Jenrick MP is shown to have “unlawfully approved” the proposed scheme.

Moron of the Moment – Darren Grimes

In threatening respected writer Peter Jukes with legal action, Darren Grimes yet again shows himself as nothing but a petulant pillock.

Mixed Up McGee

Dippy Debbie McGee yet again confirms her status as the ultimate airhead in boasting about her connections to ‘Randy Andy’ and is met with a denial from a royal source.

Could Mark Alexander be Innocent?

With humanitarian Terry Waite questioning the safety of the conviction of Mark Alexander for murdering his conman father Samuel, is it time that this curious case was reviewed?

Distraction Dom

Matthew Steeples suggests devious Dominic Cummings might actually be the best asset bungling Boris Johnson has got left; the king of distraction has made Jennifer Arcuri go away.

A Box Office Balls-up

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea council’s decision to approve replacement for Kensington Odeon with a 63% smaller cinema is deservedly condemned as a “box office balls-up.”

A Magnum Muckup

Unilever ludicrously forced to “urgently” recall Magnum ice cream because it contains MILK. Health and safety busybodies at their finest.

Hero of the Hour – Adrian Chiles

BBC presenter Adrian Chiles’s delight in the simple pleasures of a pint in a park during lockdown reflects how so many feel.

Moron of the Moment – Larysa Switlyk

“Bitch of the first order” Larysa Switlyk takes to Instagram during the coronavirus lockdown to brag about her latest massacres; this moronic monster previously paid to shoot sheep in England.

Roy Clark’s Roller

‘I Never Picked Cotton’ singer Roy Clark’s Rolls-Royce heads to auction complete with suicide doors and emblazoned with his initials in gold leaf.

Lockdown Lunacy

Aleks Walker examines what famous folk have been doing at home during the coronavirus lockdown and identifies some quite bizarre examples.

Smiling Churchill and Scowling Edward

Rare photograph of Winston Churchill dining with Edward VIII to be sold as part of a sale on the eve of the 80th anniversary of him becoming Prime Minister. In a reversal of roles, it is the royal (nicknamed ‘Our Smiling Prince’) who is scowling whilst the future Prime Minister (nicknamed ‘Our Scowling PM’) smiles.

More Matters Marmalade – Part V

More Matters Marmalade – Part V – Guardian readers on marmalade – Letter penning ‘Guardian’ readers return to their favourite subject – marmalade. This time marmalade and tights.

Heroine of the Hour – Anne Diamond

Heroine of the Hour – Anne Diamond on Duchess of Sussex book – Anne Diamond is right to call out the Duchess of Sussex’s mint-making collaboration with Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s ‘Finding Freedom’ as annoying, daft and delusional.

Weather Now

London
clear sky
13.2 ° C
14.4 °
11.7 °
67 %
2.6kmh
0 %
Sun
22 °
Mon
22 °
Tue
24 °
Wed
22 °
Thu
18 °