food

Beloved East London café confirms 'heartbreaking' closure after 6 years as rising costs gave them 'no choice'

A popular East London café has confirmed it has already shut its doors after six years due to rising costs meaning they were “no longer able to fight” to remain open. The owners took over the site on an industrial estate back in 2016, and it has become a favourite of people in Waltham Forest.

The café was known for its irresistible menus, well curated list of natural wines, and delicious breakfast offerings. However, owner Jen Weiss announced the “heartbreaking” decision on Monday (October 3) in an emotional Instagram post.

She told customers that the staff at the venue based at the Leyton Industrial Village looked into “every option” in order to avoid closing. Jen shared: “It is absolutely heartbreaking to let you all know that we had no choice but to close the doors of Lighthaus permanently. This decision did not come with ease and I looked into every option to avoid it.

“I don’t think anyone reading this needs reminding of the state of the economy, the serious increase in rent, electricity, produce, staffing and vat bills is just something I can no longer fight,” Jen said, before going on to reflect on the “mad” journey she faced since opening nearly six years ago.

She added: “The community which grew around me has been overwhelming. We slowly grew into our wee haven, when we were hit by a pandemic. This wonderful community of support and love really helped to get us out the other side and we fought harder than ever. We delivered veg, made cakes, sold pies, bought and drank a lot of beautiful wines….and came out on top.”

Jen praised all the chefs and staff who helped “push Lighthaus to new levels” throughout their tenure, continuing: “I am beyond thankful to each and every one of the kind, hardworking humans that have helped on this journey. I have met some truly magnificent people.” She also thanked her fiance and parents, as well as all the eatery’s customers who became “part of our industrial estate family”.

food, beloved east london café confirms 'heartbreaking' closure after 6 years as rising costs gave them 'no choice'

Lighthaus in Leyton

The owner concluded: “Although I have often had a lot of support and love throughout, there was only ever me left trying to keep this ship heading toward the light and the time has come for me to stop……for now. I am sincerely sorry to the ones who I have caused any upset to. This is not how I wanted to go out. Thank you all for all the support and all the love.”

The news comes after Lighthaus announced just last month that they would be bringing in a fixed price set menu in order to help battle rising costs. Jen was inundated with support from customers and fellow businesses in the area after confirming the news.

Walthamstow-based restaurant Spice Box commented: “So so sad to read this. Your cafe was wonderful and will be missed greatly,” with Leyton’s Deeney’s adding: “So sorry pal, you’ll be missed by so many.”

Someone else wrote: “So sorry to hear! Loved this spot and all the best for the future xx,” with another customer sharing: “Jen thank you for all you have put in and all the greatness you put out. Inspiration!”

It’s the latest food spot in the area to announce its closure. In recent weeks, Spice Box confirmed they would be closing their Leytonstone branch, while Pearl in Hackney Wick shut its doors after six years just last week.

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