Sunday, December 16, 2012

I’m NOT an idealist, I’m not unrealistic about what can and can’t work with pubs.

From Camberwell Online

Ivanhoe: Gabe is right. The rents round here are too high. And the commercial premise rents that are affordable are occupied by people who want far too much premium, even when they are losing money, to leave. And so is Monkeycat but in the long run the Crooked Well are most certainly going to be screwed by Punch and Alan, as always, has a point.

In the Lambeth County Court hearing where S&NPC had me for a forfeiture hearing on 28 June last year — their ‘solicitor’ said to me, after the judge had ruled that I would be allowed three years to pay the £126,000 I owed the pubco — (which had infuriated the solicitor since, after all, it was “an open and shut case where he has put forward no real defence and, surely, a 28 day eviction order should be automatic? she asked the judge) she jabbed a finger at me and said “your problem is that you chose to pay your staff instead of paying the rent”. That, perhaps, is putting principles before profit.

My bottom line on Hoopers is that it could work. I’ve always been interested in that pub — even before I did Sun and Doves — and I think something really interesting could happen there, but it’s too risky a as a lease and at that level of rent when £60K (min) needs to be spent on it to get it into the shape it needs to be in in order to trade effectively.
If the freehold were available that would be an entirely different matter.

The Prince of Wales at the end of Denmark Road has been sold by Punch to a private developer, no doubt for peanuts, and he’s applied for and got planning consent to convert the upstairs accommodation into private residential, which he’ll make his ROI on. Now he’s marketing the pub and cellar for £40K on a Tie. TWAT. Punch was letting the whole pub for £24K.

I’m NOT an idealist, I’m not unrealistic about what can and can’t work with pubs. There are many pubs that are just out of time and place for contemporary culture but among the thousands that are closing forever there’s a significant number of them which could work very well — for long term.
THAT pub (POW) would be a great local, for ever, if it hadn’t been carved up by private equity greed. Yet another one bites the dust. This kind of thing has been going on for decades. Remember the Lord Lyndhurst Warwick Gardens? A GEM of a pub that was run down deliberately by greedy bastards.

The Hope on Rye Lane and the Bun House on Peckham High Street the same. And the Temple Bar on Walworth Road, even the Beaten Path. Anyhow.

The same thing was inevitable for the Ivyhouse but it just happened to have some very sharp people local to it with the right combination of legal skills and vision to keep it from the brink.

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