Actor Simon Callow lent his support to the Save Gaby’s Deli campaign by doing a free reading at the deli on Charing Cross Road. The deli is threatened with eviction on 1 May to be replaced by a restaurant chain.
Well-known for its salt beef and falafel, the cafe has been a favourite haunt for local actors from the nearby West End for almost 50 years. Westminster Council has already granted permission for the chain shop to move into the site which has left Gaby’s Deli until May to get the decision overturned.
Customers have rallied around the deli to set up the “Save Gaby’s” campaign on twitter and facebook. The campaign currently has over 4,000 supporters who are hoping to persuade the landlord to extend the deli’s lease. Famous faces including broadcaster Lauren Laverne, actress Vanessa Redgrave and director Mike Leigh have put their weight behind the campaign. Mr Callow has been a customer at the deli since 1965 and has been a vocal advocate for saving Gaby’s Deli.
Speaking of the campaign, owner Gaby Elyahou said: “Simon was here when he was young and he remembered this place. My customers have been very supportive but I didn’t know that there would be such a reaction from people. I can’t believe that we have so many friends that want to do something”. He added: “All my customers are like family and we treat them like family. It will break my heart to see my customers leave”.
Mr Callow did a reading from the play “The Arab-Israeli Cookbook” by Robin Soans. Watch an extract from his performance here: