The White Swan pub has closed down suddenly, four-and-a-half years after it was taken over by the owner of Greenwich’s Pelton Arms.
One of two pubs in Charlton Village, the Swan’s future was threatened in 2015 after a property developer, Mendoza, bought the building from Punch Taverns for £900,000.
But landlord Geoff Keen took the closed pub on and re-opened it as a sister venue to the Pelton Arms, bringing live music, beer festivals and quiz nights to the once down-at-heel boozer.
However, the pub was closed on Monday and Tuesday night’s quiz has also been/ was also cancelled. The Charlton Champion understands the business has long struggled with the high rents charged by Mendoza, which has put in several planning applications to develop land behind the pub’s beer garden.
The pub had advertised a full programme of gigs and events for this month and next, but the bar had been stripped of much of its furniture on Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was answering the phone at the Swan, but the Pelton Arms confirmed its sister pub had closed down.
While the Swan had become a well-regarded local pub – it regularly featured in the Deserter.co.uk World Cup of Pubs contest and staged events for the Charlton & Woolwich Free Film Festival – it had struggled to attract loyal custom away from gigs, quiz nights and Charlton match days, with its food and ale varying in quality over the years. However, it had been thought to have improved in recent months.
It offered Charlton season-ticket holders a discount on beer and had become a post-match favourite, while it also provided a home for Addicks memorabilia from the Charlton Athletic Museum. Today’s news will come as a further blow to Addicks fans on top of the club’s new management imploding last night amid a public row.
The news will also deepen fears for the future of Charlton Village, with the Swan adding to a lengthening list of closed-down businesses in an increasing tatty parade. There is no formal plan to turn around the village’s fortunes. The pub had been made an asset of community value after an application by The Charlton Society, but that designation has been allowed to lapse.
A closed-down pub will also make Mendoza’s redevelopment plans for the rear of the pub more viable. Its most recent planning application, to build a house behind the beer garden, featured plans to drive an access road through the side of the beer garden. Unlike its other applications, council officers have not thrown this one out and the plans are still awaiting a decision.
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