Shipp's Tearooms in Borough Market has suddenly closed following a request by its landlords.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of Shipp's Tearooms," reads a statement on the shop's website. "Our landlord, The Borough Market Board of Trustees, has informed us that we are in breach of our lease. With no viable offer on the table our only option is to bow to its wishes and close down."
A notice in the window reads: "Our landlords ... have instructed us to close the business forthwith."
Shipp's, which claims that it was fulfilling a need, is encouraging disappointed customers to contact the Borough Market management to make their feelings known.
In response the market authority has issued its own statement: "As responsible landlords, The Trustees of the Borough Market expect all tenants to comply with the terms of their leases; this is important for the smooth and harmonious running of the market to the benefit of all its tenants and its customers. The Trustees have asked the tenant of 4 Park Street to comply with the terms of its lease and it is a matter for him as to whether he does that. We all hope that this matter can be resolved amicably."
In 2005 Southwark Council granted planning permission for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.