An example of the ubiquitous Victorian corner pub - now closed due to a skyrocket in rent
This once down-at-heel pub with black-painted ceilings and gambling machines was refreshed into posh dining rooms in 2013, as part of the widespread movement towards fine dining and gastropubs. An example of the ubiquitous Victorian corner pub, it is – sadly - also unexceptional in its fate: it has recently closed despite spirited attempts to save it by having it listed as an ‘asset of community value’, a strategy lately recommended by CAMRA and Historic England. The closure is not due to an absence of custom – indeed it was very popular and had won several awards for its food – but the landlord increased the rent from £75,000 to £250,000 a year, thus rendering the building’s continued use as a pub impossible.
It now seems likely to be made into flats – a far more lucrative use. This not uncommon turn of events gives the lie to the frequently repeated assertion that the decline of the pub is due to social changes such as the death of community, falling rates of beer consumption or the preference for electronic diversions and dating apps such as Grindr. In fact, in London at least, it is simply due to unscrupulous landlords wishing to cash in on the property bubble.
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