Plans to revive Charlton Village’s Bugle Horn pub have ground to a halt after the leaseholders declined to pay a £30,000 to repair vital equipment in its cellar.
The pub, which has been put up for sale by Punch Taverns, has been run on a short-term lease for the past six weeks after the departure of its long-serving past management.
New manager Stephen Ruffle had been redecorating the pub’s interior and had embarked on a plan to broaden the old boozer’s appeal.
But the firm that’s leasing the pub has baulked at paying £30,000 to repair ale coolers in the cellar, fearing the the cost would not be recouped over the current lease’s short term.
Today (Tuesday) was due to be the last day under Stephen’s management – plunging the pub’s future back into uncertainty. However, the pub was locked and closed this afternoon, with a cleaner at work inside.
Like its neighbour the White Swan, the pub was last month declared an Asset of Community Value, meaning any sale would have to be paused for six months to allow community groups time to bid. However, it would take a phenomenal effort for such a bid to raise that sum of money.
Despite the Swan’s designation as an ACV, that pub is also in troubled times, after it was sold to developer Mendoza Ltd by Punch Taverns.
Rents have been increased and that pub is also on the market – minus the rooms upstairs – for £35,000 per year.
One thing that could boost the fortunes of both pubs would be for Greenwich Council to place an Article 4 direction on them, preventing any change of use. But despite this being raised repeatedly, this hasn’t been forthcoming.