Landlord out of Abbeydale pub Ridge and Furrow after 13 years
PUB landlord Steve Luckett is "heartbroken and shattered" after discovering his 13-year lease at the Ridge & Furrow is being ripped up.
Steve, 49, found out he was losing his job and his home in a short phone call from pub bosses at Trust Inns.
The company has given Steve and his family six months to leave the much-loved Abbeydale watering hole after deciding to hand back a long-term lease to land owners Morrisons.
Speculation in the community is now rife that long-standing rumours of a petrol station being built on the site are nearing reality. The family inn has become a focal point for the community in the last decade, winning several awards in that time.
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"This pub has been my baby, the support I have had from people has brought me to tears, said Steve. "Thousands of people use the pub every week. We have wakes, christenings, engagement parties and birthdays here – it will be missed."
Morrisons denied it was planning to take on the site in 2009.
"The brewery has said it is handing the lease back to Morrisons because the rent had become too expensive," said Steve. "If they offer it to me, there is no way I could afford it so they will do what they want with the site."
Councillor Gordon Taylor, (C, Abbey) said: "It is the only pub you can walk to around here, it would be a big loss."
Coun Andrew Gravells (C, Abbey) said: "This pub is an Abbey institution, the news came out of the blue. I am in discussions with Morrisons to find out what their plans are for the site and what people in the community think of their proposals."
Ray Peart has been a regular drinker there for the last 13 years.
He said: "Steve has turned the pub round from a drug den into the heart of the community. He has done a brilliant job, where will we go now?"
Trust Inns and Morrisons were unavailable for comment.