UPDATE: We come bearing excellent news. I Camisa & Son will live to sell another sandwich! The store has been granted a two year lease extension following negotiations with the landlord. The Soho Society shared the fabulous news at the end of 2022. So go forth and support this Old Compton Street landmark by stocking up on tasty Italian goods.
A legendary Italian deli in Soho is having to close because of the rising cost of living. I Camisa & Son has been around since 1929, selling its famous Italian sandwiches, pasta and other goodies.
Originally owned by two Camisa brothers, the shop was sold in 2014 to Italian importer Alivini. But over the past couple of years, the Old Compton Street store has struggled to make money and has announced it will close for ever after Christmas unless someone saves it.
Gianni Segatta, a director at Alivini, told CODE Hospitality that staying open would be ‘impossible’. He said: ‘We cannot run the business now. It’s very sad. It’s a historic brand and we love it, but everything is so difficult. We don’t want to close it down, but in the end it’s pointless to carry on because we’re losing too much.’
He added: ‘We have explained the situation – turnover is too low. We looked into selling the brand but we must also focus on other things.’
The deli’s sandwiches, which still cost a fiver, are revered in London, but the shop doesn’t want to up its prices. ‘Energy prices, rates, VAT, and salaries are all too high now and we cannot raise prices because people would not come,’ Segatta said. ‘Soho has changed too much. Things were good before the pandemic but now it is not what it used to be. The families who used to live here have gone. We used to have queues to get in but not any more.’
Head down there for a mortadella sando before it’s too late.
I Camisa & Son, 61 Old Compton St, W1D 6HS.
Molto buono! London’s best Italian restaurants.