Cheltenham pub Hop Pole closure raises concerns over future
REGULARS at the Hop Pole pub in Cheltenham have been left without anywhere to drink after the venue shut its doors.
The sudden closure has prompted fears the Gloucester Road drinking spot could be the latest victim of the slump affecting the pub industry – which has seen several venues in the town go under.
But owners Enterprise Inns said it was in negotiations with another landlord to come and take over the site and that it should be back open in time for Cheltenham Festival.
Customers said they hoped it was not the end for the pub.
NEW PROMOTIONS put out each calender month! Dont miss out!
Terms: Terms and conditions are when order is complete in full 5% discount will be given with this voucher!
Contact: 01452 223149
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Pauline Smith, from Woodmancote, used to go there often with her late husband Joseph, known as Joeboy.
She said: "We had some great nights down at the Hop Pole.
"It had a good bunch of locals who used to go there and it was a lot of fun. We had karaoke, dancing and poker nights.
"Joeboy used to play in a darts team called the Merry Men at one point as well.
"It was a good pub. People who said it was rough are wrong. There was hardly ever any trouble there.
"I would be very sad to see it close for good."
It appears the writing has been on the wall for the pub for some time. Last year landlord Danny Lewis said he was going to have to give up the lease after seven-and-a-half years after struggling with high rents, rates and supermarket booze offers.
He added he could only make 79p an hour and was having to work part-time as a lorry driver to supplement his income.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: "The Hop Pole is only closed temporarily while we complete minor works on site.
"We are in discussions with a prospective publican with a view to resume trading in the next few weeks, ready for the Cheltenham Festival."
The closure comes in the same week as the Echo revealed the Fox and Hounds in Prestbury Road – also an Enterprise Inns venue – had also been left boarded up.
The spokesman added attempts were being made to recruit a new publican but that so far no one had come forward. Anyone interested in taking on the pub can call 0800 953 0072.