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Published:  09 August, 2011

Retailers, pubs and restaurants are taking precautionary measures to guard against further potential rioting as the trade comes to grips with the violence that has broken out across the UK's major cities. Keep up to date with our regular UK Riot Updates.

Retailers, pubs and restaurants are taking precautionary measures to guard against further potential rioting as the trade comes to grips with the violence that has broken out across the UK's major cities. Keep up to date with our regular UK Riot Updates.


Large parts of central London and its suburbs are closing up shop, boarding up businesses in readiness of another night of violent activity and potential rioting on the streets. As many businesses tell workers to leave for home earlier, the London riots look set to wreak havoc on the capital's restaurant, pub and bar scene as more businesses close down for the evening.

The latest from the Twitter feed includes:

@ViajanteE2 Viajante Restaurant

We're closing tonight. If you have a booking we'll be in touch. We really need to get all our staff home safe, and hope you all understand x


@ArtisanAndVine Kathryn O'Mara, A&V

After very careful consideration, Artisan & Vine will not be open tonight. Apologies for inconv



Banks closed by 3pm in Shepherds Bush & Hammersmith. Shops closing early & now boarding up windows & security shutters reinforced..not good


Amid rumours of further riots in London, Southark gastro-pub Anchor and Hope has decided to close its doors for the night. In a tweet it said: Anchor and Hope is shut for the evening due to gathering mob in southwark.

Islington-based independent The Sampler also took the decision to close at 7pm tonight and cancel a planned wine course. The indie said on Twitter:

@SamplerWine Intro to wine in Islington cancelled for tonight due to unrest. Sorry folks! We will be able to transfer your ticket onto the next one.


Roberson Wine in London's Kensington High Street is one of many wine businesses that has closed early as a result of police advice. Roberson Wine is also taking measures to remove its fine wine from its premises in case of attack. In a tweet it said:

@robersonwine  Just to be clear, the shop is closed so we can remove stock as a precaution. We're not under attack yet! Rest of business open #londonriots

Leading restaurateurs have been caught up in the rioting with Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant in Birmingham a victim. Jamie Oliver tweeted earlier today: @jamieoliver sadly my restaurant in Birmingham got smashed up windows all gone whole area closed, cant open, staff and customers all safe!!thankfully jox

It follows the high profile attack last night on the two star Michelin restaurant The Ledbury where customers had to hide in the toilets and wine cellar after been mugged for jewellery and money before rioters were forced away by brave staff wielding kitchen equipment for protection.

But defiantly the restaurant was back open for business at lunchtime today. Wall Street Journal food columnist Bruce Palling tweeted earlier today a comment from chef and proprietor Brett Graham:

@Bruce_Palling: The Ledbury's Brett Graham: "We're open for lunch and dinner today - we are not going to be silenced by a bunch of thugs"

Newly-opened English wine store Wine Pantry in Borough Market in south London was also affected by the unrest. Owner Julia Stafford, said she would be closing early. She tweeted: "We will be closing by six today, to make the streets as free as possible for the police, security and wardens to carry out their good work. very sad and angry because we're trying to build pride in England & don't feel it ourselves right now".

But as London and other major cities brace themselves for potentially further trouble businesses and communities are coming together as part of a Riot Clean Up initiative being spread via Twitter under the #riotcleanup hashtag.

This prompted the tweet from @AlexHowardWine:

@AlexHowardWine Horrified about riots across London last night but brilliant to see everyone coming together for #riotcleanup. Amazing community spirit.


The Association of Convenience Stores has issued updated advice on insurance against rioting.

  • 93 stores have been affected, either directly or in that newspaper wholesalers cannot get deliveries to them.

  • Retailers who have been the victims of looting, arson or other attacks will be able to claim against their insurance with an excess payment, typically around £250.
  • Insurance companies will be seeking to claim costs back from local police budgets under the provisions of the Riot Damages Act (1886). In order to do this, claims must be registered within fourteen days, and insurance companies are likely to require the claim and supporting evidence within seven days. ACS is advising retailers making claims to do so as quickly as possible and to contact their insurance providers immediately.

  • These claims also rely on the Home Secretary or police declaring the incident a riot, defined in the Public Order Act 1986 as twelve or more people threatening violence for a common purpose, causing people to fear for their safety.

  • There are unconfirmed reports of retailers being uninsured. A significant minority of retailers only insure against fire or business-threatening incidents, so it is possible that some retailers will be uninsured for damage and looting.

  • Insurance premiums have on average increased by over 10% in the past year, with some retailers reporting increases of up to 20%.

  • Stores in affected areas are generally planning to close early today. Given that the Hackney riots began yesterday afternoon, it is likely that stores in areas that have been affected, or that may be affected, will close during the afternoon.

  • During opening hours, trade is extremely slow in the affected areas as people stay inside.

  • Experience from Northern Ireland suggests that retail areas can take a long time to recover from rioting. In some cases retailers decide not to re-open.

9.20am: ACS has advised retailers in urban areas to:

  • Consult the Metropolitan Police's guidance to businesses to prepare for any incidents.
  • Keep in close contact with other retailers and local people to see if there is a likelihood of problems arising in the area.
  • If violence is occurring nearby, and if in doubt, close their stores and use shutters where possible to protect the business.
  • Consider where they and their staff will be safest, and go there swiftly.
  • Report information on criminal behaviour in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Use the Caravan helpline: 08088 02 11 22 as a first port of call for anyone who has been affected by these incidents and wants support and advice.
  • Let ACS know of any information on the disorder relating to your store so that this can be fed into COBRA discussions.
  • Keep an eye on @riotcleanup on Twitter to find out if you can help your community tackle the aftermath of the disorder.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The images of local community stores being looted and destroyed by violent criminals are sickening.

"Most urban areas in London and elsewhere are safe and will remain so, but retailers need to keep in contact with each other and local people to get the earliest warning of any impending problems. People are more important than property. Retailers' first concern must be to protect themselves and their staff."

ACS has pledged to assist any retailers affected by the riots, and is available on 01252 515001.

Email to let us know if your business has suffered as a result of the riots.