The Queen Charlotte, a pub that helped out the local community massively during the lockdowns is set to close on 19th November. Its future is uncertain.
At a time when pubs need all the support they can get Pub Company Stonegate have demanded an incredible 73% rent increase from the publicans of the Queen Charlotte in Andover. The pub, run by hard-working publicans David and Victoria Harber have stated they will give up the pub, which was one of several that really helped the local community during the pandemic.
It seems that meant little to the corporate pub giant.
Only a few weeks earlier a leading national pub campaigner Dave Mountford had given a great presentation at the Queen Charlotte with the atrocities and sharp practices of the PubCos being the topic of the evening. The founder of the Forum of British Pubs led a public discussion on the destruction of the pub industry and how tenants up and down the country are suffering.
Pub giant Stonegate has now put the Queen Charlotte on the market with a Full Tie and what they claim will be a ‘complete refurbishment’ despite Vikki having invested considerably in the property and the business.
The sale details on one site give an Minimum Ingoing Cost of £19,500, an Annual Rent of £59,000 and a statement that “further funds will be required”.
Someone will need deep pockets.
“The whole modus operandi of these Pub Companies is to empty the bank accounts of hard working publicans by massive rent increases, unfair charges, empty promises and over-priced tied products. Then they recruit another tenant and the cycle begins again. – Editor”.
Stonegate is the largest Pub Company in the UK with nearly 5,000 pubs and is registered in the Cayman Islands. Formed in 2010 it now includes such brands as Slug and Lettuce, Walkabout, and Yates, as well as an estate of traditional local pubs.
Protection for publicans?
How can we prevent this destruction of our local pubs and give protection to those who suffer from the excesses of PubCo behaviour?
That’s the Big Question – maybe our MPs and our government would like to listen?
Thank you for all you have done.
No this is not a message for Stonegate.
Instead we wish David and Vikki all the very best for the future. Given the amount of pleasure they gave customers and support to the local community they deserve success in the future.
What message should go to Stonegate?