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London Restaurateur Bills Mayor £90K For Olympic Slump

The view from High Timber, London.
The view from High Timber, London.
Photo: High Timber

One London restauranteur is not happy with the way the Olympics have affected her business, and she has sent London Mayor Boris Johnson a bill for £90,000 (US$140,400) for her troubles. The Olympics were supposed to bring a boom time to the host city, with early economic boosts in the construction industry followed by those sweet, sweet tourism dollars. But, um, it's not quite turning out that way: Neleen Strauss, owner of High Timber restaurant, writes in today's City A.M., "I have hand-delivered a bill for £90,000 to the mayor of London. This is – give or take a few hundred pounds – what the Olympic Games have cost me in turnover since they began."

Strauss says her Thames-side restaurant has seen an 80% drop in business, largely due to the fact that employers have told the "accountants, lawyers, and bankers" who are her regular customers to work from home in anticipation of a tourism madness that never came. Oh, and she wants him to pay the fee out of his own pockets, not "from the seemingly limitless coffers that supported London 2012." She also mentions that she voted for Johnson when he was elected.

The expected Olympics tourism boom hasn't really happened in London, as those in town for the games have stuck to the area near the events, and other tourists have avoided the city entirely. While some business owners are attempting to make the games work in their favor — one nightclub is offering a $3,000 to gold medal winners — other have seen major slumps since the Opening Ceremonies on July 27. According to NBC, there have been 40% fewer visitors to tourist attractions like St. Paul's Cathedral and the London Zoo since the games began, and newspapers are calling London a "ghost town."

· Why Boris Owes Me £90,000 For Olympic Damage [City A.M.]
· Will Games Curse Leave 'Ghost Town' London Out of the Gold Rush? [NBC]
· All London Coverage on Eater [-E-]

High Timber

8 High Timber Street City of London, EC4V 3PA, United Kingdom