Anger as landmark pub calls time early

A landmark pub which was to close after being sold has shut suddenly three weeks earlier than expected - to the anger of protesters who were trying to keep it open.

Anger as landmark pub calls time early

The Abbey Hotel in Bearwood appears to have closed its doors for the last time.

Workers were originally told it would remain open until the end of this month but it was closed by the company which owns it on Monday.

A campaign to try and save it has been gathering pace since the closure was announced, with more than 1,600 people having singed a petition, but with the pub having been sold to a developer it seems unlikely there will be any way back. Angry regulars have organised a protest outside the pub on Saturday morning.

Details of who is taking over the pub in Abbey Road and what the future holds for the building have yet to be disclosed.

The Abbey is the latest Bearwood pub to face the axe after the Thimblemill was demolished to make way for a care home.

Owners Stonegate confirmed the pub has been closed. They said it was 'no longer a viable business and all staff had been offered positions at its other venues in the area.

A statement from the firm said: "The Abbey is in an advance sale as unfortunately the pub was not a viable business for Stonegate.

"We have been able to offer alternative positions to all our employees who wanted to stay with the company in one of the many other pubs we operate within the locality.

"We will continue to invest within our pubs and bars within the West Midlands area and have a number of investment projects planned in the forthcoming months. We cannot confirm the future of the premises as this is at the discretion of the purchasers."

Rebekah Mone, who is leading the campaign, said: "With only 10 minutes notice of their arrival, the area manager and some senior members of Stonegate arrived at The Abbey and closed it with immediate effect.

"This has left the already devastated staff even more upset and the manager being unable to say his farewells to his staff and customers. Additionally many people will be left upset at being unable to have one last celebration at this much-loved pub."

"We are very much hoping that the new owners share our desire to keep it as a public house which the community is passionate about saving."

The announcement means the Abbey is the latest Bearwood pub to face the axe after the Thimblemill was demolished to make way for a care home.

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