The owners of London cycling café Look Mum No Hands have announced the closure of the business, due to pressure on the hospitality industry following the covid pandemic.
On Wednesday (8th February), partners Lewin Chalkley, Matthew Harper, and Sam Humpheson announced that the café in Old Street, Islington had closed after 13 years of business.
The owners said that the first 10 years of business were hugely successful, but that the pandemic put huge strain on hospitality businesses. As the UK emerged from Covid lockdowns, changing working habits resulted in a reduced turnover for the café, the team said.
Combined with rising costs, the Look Mum No Hands was no longer sustainable, the owners added.
Sam Humpheson said: “I’m so proud of what we achieved with LMNH. The three of us were fed up with our jobs at the time and wanted to be excited to come to work, and the business achieved this and so much more. I think we showed that bikes and cycling are inherently fun and friendly, as well as being a practical solution to many of our problems such as climate, congestion and health. We set out to not take ourselves too seriously, be friendly and inclusive, and above all to have fun.”
The owners said they have no current plans other than taking some time off, but added there could be a future opportunity to revive the Look Mum No Hands name.
Alongside its café, Look Mum No Hands also offer bike repair services through its workshop, and hosted a variety of cycling and non-cycling events.
Matthew Harper said: “It’s such a shame but we just ran out of options. I’d like to thank all of our customers over the years. Everyone who bought an espresso or a pint, one of our pies, a t-shirt or a flapjack. If you came to have your puncture repaired or watch the Tour de France, organise an event, or even just to enjoy the free WiFi, you were part of what made LMNH Tick.”
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Lewin Chalkley said: “We tried to bring passion into everything we did. Our coffee was great, the food was hearty and I personally made sure our beer selection was up to scratch. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked with us over the years, baristas, bike mechanics, chefs, front of house, marketing, communications and the online shop. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing team.”