Search

Protest frothing up to save Frank Wang’s coffee stall outside Bethnal Green tube station

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:24 08 August 2018

Frank Wang's coffee stall outside Bethnal Green tube station. Picture source: Google

Frank Wang's coffee stall outside Bethnal Green tube station. Picture source: Google

Google

Angry commuters and passers-by who stop off for a coffee at Frank Wang’s cart outside Bethnal Green tube station are protesting tonight alongside Chinese community leaders against what they say is a bid to get rid of him.

Mayor John Biggs... longstanding customer of Frank Wang's coffee stall at Bethnal Green station. Picture: Mike BrookeMayor John Biggs... longstanding customer of Frank Wang's coffee stall at Bethnal Green station. Picture: Mike Brooke

Frank, a popular first-generation Chinese immigrant who set up his stall 15 years ago when the Central line was out of action after a derailment, has been hit by the arrival of a new upmarket bar close to his pitch, his supporters claim.

The father-of-two has been left shaken at the loss of his livelihood, now facing losing his business altogether.

The electricity supply provided by TfL which Frank paid for was cut by workmen, campaigners say. He bought a generator to stay in business—then found ‘racist notes’ left on his pitch which is driving him away.

Supporters are furious at the “inability” to get Frank’s electricity supply restored by TfL, which owns the land, and Tower Hamlets Council which is the freeholder where the rival Chiringuito bar has opened in converted public toilets nearby.

“They should not engage in such tactics,” customer Simon Woolley said. “Frank has been intimidated by big business which should be able to accommodate a little coffee store.”

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, one of Frank’s long-standing customers, has come out in support and wants him to stay at his pitch and have his electricity restored. He is lobbying TfL and the Mayor of London’s office.

Transport for London is trying to find Frank an alternative pitch, they promised when contacted by the East London Advertiser.

Their commercial development director Graeme Craig 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.”

The Chiringuito bar’s owners are aware of tonight’s protest. Their public relations agent said: “The issue is between TfL and Frank Wang. It’s nothing to do with us.”

Bethnal Green’s MP Rushanara Ali has also been working to resolve Frank’s problems.

So has the Chinese community. Edmund Yeo at London’s Chinese information centre said: “It’s great to see people coming out to fight for this hard-working, good Chinese man. Our communities work better together and we’ll be there supporting Frank.”

The customers and Chinese community leaders are protesting outside Chiringuito’s café, the former public toilets in Museum Gardens just behind Frank’s pitch, at 7pm tonight.

Latest East London News Stories

A Dagenham man who stalked a woman he met on a website for Catholic singles after going on four dates with her has been given a suspended jail sentence.

It might have a twitter account dedicated to parodying its daily delays, but c2c has been named the best train operator in the country at a prestigious rail industry awards night.

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah took to the track with Isle of Dogs pupils as part of the Daily Mile initiative.

Calls have been made for the resignation of a councillor who has been suspended by the Labour Party for sharing anti-Semitic posts online.

13:00

Two thieves who triggered a high-speed police chase through London after snatching mobile phones and speeding away on a stolen moped have each been sentenced to more than two years behind bars.

10:00

An anti-racist protest has been organised after an Asian teenager was beaten and had her headscarf grabbed in an attack in Bethnal Green.

Tower Hamlets has one of the highest levels of obesity among Year 6 pupils in England, with more than four in 10 an unhealthy weight.

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