Legendary Granita restaurant closes down

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Speculation still rages about the leadership pact struck over dinner between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair nine years ago, but for the trendy Islington restaurant where the deal was done the game is up.

Granita, the stark modern restaurant that has earned its place in the modern history of political intrigue, has closed.

The old owners have kept the rights to the Granita brand and when a new management team re-opens the restaurant in North London it will be under a new name.

The restaurant in its old guise will form the backdrop of a dramatised portrayal on Sunday showing how Mr Blair seized the Labour leadership from Mr Brown.

Channel 4's The Deal puts a fresh spin on events in 1994, when the two men convened to discuss the leadership following the death of John Smith. By the time of the dinner, Mr Blair was considered to have outstripped his colleague who had been seen as having the greater claim. Tensions between the two over the succession have never gone away. Mr Brown is widely believed to have agreed to Mr Blair becoming the party leader in return for a guarantee that he would take over later. Blairites insist that no such promise was made.

For the restaurant, times have moved on. It was taken over by Turkish food specialists Sofra 18 months ago when they did not realise its political significance. The company said that since then, it had received an offer it could not refuse from a property developer and closed at the end of July.

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