Wetherspoon pubs in West Brom and Willenhall being sold off

Two well-known Wetherspoon pubs in the Black Country are being sold off by the chain as part of 32 nationally which are facing the axe.

 The Billiard Hall in West Bromwich
The Billiard Hall in West Bromwich

The Billiard Hall in St Michael's Street, on West Bromwich's Ringway, is being be sold off alongside The Malthouse in New Road, Willenhall.

Between 40 to 50 staff work at each site and will be retained by the firm at other pubs in the region. The pubs will keep running until they are sold.

But the news of the two well-known pubs closing – the only Wetherspoon pubs in their area – has been described as a "big blow" for the town centres.

Councillor Bawa Singh Dhallu, who represents the area on Sandwell Council, said: "It's a big blow because a lot of people go to The Billiard Hall for a drink.

"They enjoy their drink and because it's near to the bus station, they can have a drink and then get on the bus. It's been very very useful for the public and I think most of the public will not be happy with this news.

"To my knowledge, it was a good business and to close a businesses in the centre of West Bromwich is never good – we want to attract more businesses into Sandwell and we don't want businesses to close down and go away."

The Billiard Hall was converted from a gaming hall and opened as a 'Spoons' in 1998 winning a national design award for conversion to pub use in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub Design Awards in 2000. The 1913 facade was retained in JD Wetherspoon's £800,000 refit which created 25 jobs.

The Malthouse pub in Willenhall

Meanwhile The Malthouse in New Road, Willenhall, opened as a pub in 1999. It is on the site of a former malthouse that was an outbuilding of nearby Dale House. It later became the Coliseum cinema and then The Dale cinema. In 1968 it was converted into a bingo club.

JD Wetherspoon has appointed property agents CBRE and Savills to sell the 10 freehold and 22 leasehold pubs in city and town centres. They are available individually or as packages or the full portfolio.

Paul Breen, director in the licensed leisure team at Savills said the pus were well configures and fitted to a high standard which would be appealing to a broad range of potential buyers.

Senior director at CBRE Toby Hall said: "We believe the pubs represent an excellent opportunity for existing pub operators and new entrants."

JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "On occasion, Wetherspoon does put some of its pubs up for sale. This is a commercial decision. We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it.

"The pubs will continue to operate as Wetherspoon outlets until they are sold."

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