Search

Hundreds turn out at protest to save Frank Wang’s coffee cart outside Bethnal Green Station

PUBLISHED: 12:07 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 09 August 2018

There were more than 200 people protesting outside Chiringuito. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

There were more than 200 people protesting outside Chiringuito. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

Archant

Hundreds of people turned out at a demonstration in support of a Bethnal Green coffee vendor who they believe is being pushed out of the area.

Frank Wang, who was moved to tears by the protest's show of support. Picture: Charles Cattel-KillickFrank Wang, who was moved to tears by the protest's show of support. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

Frank Wang has been running a coffee cart outside Bethnal Green Station for 15 years but faces being relocated.

At a protest yesterday more than 200 people showed their support for Frank.

“It was completely overwhelming,” Simon Woolley said, a supporter who works around the corner from the cart.

“Frank was moved to tears. He had no idea how loved he was.”

Frank's coffee cart has been outside Bethnal Green Station for 15 years. Picture: Charles Cattel-KillickFrank's coffee cart has been outside Bethnal Green Station for 15 years. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

Frank’s supporters are worried a new bar behind his pitch, Chiringuito, is going to push him out.

About four months ago, Frank’s electricity supply, which is provided by TfL, was cut off, and the replacement generator stolen.

At the protest outside the new bar, supporters said they didn’t blame it – but they wanted TfL, which holds the contract with Frank, to do more to protect him.

“They don’t feel angry towards Chiringuito,” Simon said.

One elderly protestor said Frank's business provides humanity, not just coffee. Picture:  Charles Cattel-KillickOne elderly protestor said Frank's business provides humanity, not just coffee. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

“I spoke to one of the managers and they said the two businesses should operate side by side, they have no objection towards Frank. We totally agree with that.”

Before the protest, the bar’s owners said they were aware of the demonstration. Their spokeswoman said: “The matters of Frank’s power supply and occupation of the pitch are between Frank and his landlord.

“Chiringuito is not “big business” - I am a local resident working passionately to improve the area. I am sure we can coexist as neighbouring businesses.”

Protest signs from Frank's supporters, who said they'll be outraged if he's forced to move. Picture: Charles Cattel-KillickProtest signs from Frank's supporters, who said they'll be outraged if he's forced to move. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

Simon said: “Frank’s done nothing wrong.

“One protestor in her eighties said when you buy coffee from Frank, you get much more than a cup of coffee, you get humanity. I think that conjures up what people feel and the sense of injustice.

“People will be outraged if Frank is gone.”

Frank has been offered a new pitch, but Simon said its location outside a Starbucks would make business unviable for Frank.

The vendor has also promised to buy a new, slimmer coffee machine, so that his cart takes up less space.

When TfL were approached for comment before the protest, a spokesman said: “We understand this is disappointing for Mr Wang and are doing everything we can with the council to offer alternative locations close by, to make sure his business continues to thrive in the Bethnal Green community.”

To show support for Frank, visit the petition here.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 17:41

Parents fighting the closure of three council-run nurseries and a specialist deaf unit in the borough have been “thrown a lifeline” by councillors.

Yesterday, 16:10

New City College closed its six campuses for a day to take part in a march in Westminster.

Yesterday, 11:43

A shop in Limehouse accused of selling laughing gas to children as young as 14 has lost its licence to sell alcohol.

Yesterday, 09:49

Tower Hamlets Council will receive extra funding from the government to help ease winter pressures on the NHS.

Wed, 12:19

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has announced a package of ‘tackling poverty innovation grants’ worth £200,000 for new programmes by community and voluntary groups in the borough.

Wed, 08:53

Commuters are facing severe delays on the Jubilee line this morning following a signal failure.

Wed, 07:57

A woman had her phone and cash stolen after being duped into letting someone into her home.

Tue, 16:58

A Bangla music festival has released details of its lineup.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now