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Frank Wang wins battle to keep his coffee stall outside Bethnal Green tube station

PUBLISHED: 10:04 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 05 October 2018

Frank Wang has been told he can keep his coffee stall outside Bethnal Green Station. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

Frank Wang has been told he can keep his coffee stall outside Bethnal Green Station. Picture: Charles Cattel-Killick

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Frank Wang has won a victory to carry on dishing out coffee from his cart outside the entrance to the London Underground station at Bethnal Green.

Commuters protested to keep Frank Wong's coffee stall outside Bethnal Green station. Picture: Dan McCurryCommuters protested to keep Frank Wong's coffee stall outside Bethnal Green station. Picture: Dan McCurry

He can stay put after a campaign by commuters who were frothing at the mouth when they heard in August about his stall having to close.

The commuters rallied with London’s Chinese community for a mass protest outside the entrance in Cambridge Heath Road after the electricity supply to the coffee stall from TfL was cut when the upmarket Chiringuito’s café opened a few feet away.

The rival café is housed in a converted toilet block owned by Tower Hamlets Council where Mr Wang got his electricity from by arrangement with TfL.

London Assembly's Unmesh Desai... London Assembly's Unmesh Desai... "Community rightly outraged. This is— a testament to the spirit of the East End."” Picture: Dan McCurry

London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai handed a petition to City Hall calling for Frank to stay.

He heard this week from the Mayor of London’s Office that he doesn’t have to move and the ‘power’ issue has been resolved.

“The community was rightly outraged at suggestions that Mr Wang would have to shift,” Mr Desai said. “He’s has been an asset to the community for years and can now continue on his patch—this a testament to the spirit of the East End.”

Outraged commuters who protested to keep Mr Wang's coffee stall in busines. Picture: Dan McCurryOutraged commuters who protested to keep Mr Wang's coffee stall in busines. Picture: Dan McCurry

Even Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, one of Frank’s long-standing customers, rallied to his support.

Mr Wang, a first-generation Chinese immigrant who set up his stall 15 years ago when the Central line was out of action for three months after a derailment, bought his own generator to stay in business after workmen cut the power line.

Word got round about his coffee stall and commuters stirred up a campaign alongside Chinese community leaders.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... one of Mr Wang's long-standing customers. Picture: Mike BrookeTower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... one of Mr Wang's long-standing customers. Picture: Mike Brooke

Edmund Yeo at London’s Chinese information centre said at the time: “It’s great to see people coming out to fight for this hard-working, good Chinese man.”

But Assembly Member Desai, whose east London constituency includes Bethnal Green, has now been given reassurances that the storm in a coffee cup has been settled with TfL and Mr Wang can carry on with his stall.

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