Squatters move in to Marco Pierre White's shuttered Leicester Square restaurant

Squatters have moved in and padlocked the doors (John Dunne / ES)
Squatters have moved in and padlocked the doors (John Dunne / ES)

Squatters have moved into the site of Marco Pierre White’s former restaurant on Leicester Square.

They pitched up a week ago and have shackled the doors of what was Mr White’s Steak Pizza and Gin House.

The squatters have also put a sign in the window warning that they cannot be removed without a court order as the building was not being used for residential purposes and was vacant.

The eaterie was reported to have closed in February, and occupies 14,500sq ft venue across two floors. It opened in 2021.

Although he was not directly involved in the 600 cover venue, it was run by Black & White Hospitality, the company he set up with entrepreneur Nick Taplin. The company runs nearly 30 restaurants around the UK.

It comes days after it was revealed that so-called ‘professional squatters’ put up a similar sign outside the York and Albany Hotel, a former Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

That restaurant closed during Covid and on Tuesday Ramsay applied to the High Court to have the squatters turfed out.

Joe Waller, a manager at Jollibee restaurant next door to Mr White’s closed restaurant, said: “It’s not ideal for the reputation and image of the Square.

The site is on prime real estate (John Dunne / ES)
The site is on prime real estate (John Dunne / ES)

“There were people queuing at the back alley into the building for what looked like a big party.

“The squatters have chosen a very nice building. They haven’t given us any trouble but it’s not ideal.”

The front of the building is now being used as a makeshift meeting point for delivery drivers who use the awning for shelter.

One said: “The squatters arrived about a week ago. There was no one there before. They have put big padlocks on the doors.”

A local business owner said: “It’s one of the best buildings on the square, they are properly barricaded in.

“They put the sign ion the door about their legal rights. They obviously know what they are doing.”