By Mike Pentelow
An historic 200-year-old pub has been closed in Rathbone Place. It is the Black Horse which has been serving ale since 1809. A notice advises customers to go instead to the Marquis of Granby, which is also owned by the Nicholson’s pubs chain, part of brewers Mitchells & Butlers of Birmingham.
A brass plaque describing the history of the pub has been purloined.
A mass cull of pubs has been mounted by the brewery which has sold 49 individual pubs and 333 “non core” pubs since March, raising over £500 million. This has helped increase profits by 26.1 per cent in the year to the end of September to £169 million and an operating profit of £322 million.
Now the new owners of site London & Central Estates Limited want to redevelop the residential accommodation above the pub, writes Linus Rees. In October 2010 London & Central Estates had acquired the 5,000 sq ft pub from Mitchells & Butlers for £1.95m.
In December 2010 a planning application was submitted to City of Westminster seeking approval to sub-divide the existing residential accommodation and to build a rear extension at the second and third floors.
Further north in Charlotte Street, the live music venue Charlotte Street Blues also shut its doors in mid-November without warning. No notice was put on the door but a brief note appeared on their website saying they had to close. Regular customers who turned up to the usual jam session were surprised to find it shut. However, this week a new licence application notice has appeared outside the venue.