Restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab has insisted his latest venture, Roast, in Borough Market, will go ahead - despite long delays and problems with funding.
The Cinnamon Club founder said the South London project had been delayed because of difficulties finalising the lease. "We will have builders on site in three weeks' time," he said.
Wahhab admitted his original backers had pulled out of the £1.5m project, although he said he had now secured replacement finance.
Insider sources confirmed that Wahhab's four headquarters staff had left the business. A former employee, who did not wish to be named, said staff left because they had not been paid for several months. "The money just didn't arrive," they said.
But Wahhab said: "Anyone who is owed money will be paid. We had very ambitious plans to start up a group company to run a number of projects. Unfortunately, they were all delayed but I hope to resume work with some of these people in the future."
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 21 April 2005