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Tom Aikens forced to close fish and chip restaurant

29 August 2008 by

Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens has been forced to close his eco-friendly fish and chips restaurant Tom's Place in Chelsea just six months after opening.

The move follows concerns by local residents, who complained to the council about the smell of chip fat coming from the restaurant's kitchen saying it had "halved the value" of flats in the area.

Their complaints prompted environmental health officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to launch legal proceedings against Tom's Place.

Aikens was unavailable for comment but a spokeswoman confirmed the restaurant's closure.

"Tom Aikens has announced that he has closed his Chelsea fish restaurant, Tom's Place," she said.

"Citing ongoing difficulties and disputes with local residents and council planners over issues of air-conditioning, kitchen extraction and general business, Aikens has decided to cease trading until further notice."

Tom's Place, which launched in February, was promoting the virtues of green dining. Spread over two floors, it included a 30-cover dining room on the first, and a takeaway section on the ground floor.

The restaurant served a menu fish from sustainable sources, specialising in lesser known varieties such as dab, ling and megrim sole as well as sustainable cod and monkfish.

Interiors featured eco-friendly furniture and tableware, including wooden forks and recycled takeaway packaging, with a 55-minute documentary charting Aikens' process of sourcing suppliers playing on plasma screens throughout the restaurant.

Video interview with Tom Aikens on his new eco-friendly restaurant >>

Smell from Tom Aikens's fish restaurant angers neighbours >>

Michelin-starred Tom Aikens to open second Tom's Kitchen >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kestin Kühn here.

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