Sir Ian McKellen buys historic East London pub

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Spirit pub company

Famous Deal: Sir Ian McKellen buys pub
Famous Deal: Sir Ian McKellen buys pub
An East London licensee has agreed to sell the leasehold of a 300-year-old pub to her “dear friend” Sir Ian McKellen, the British actor.

Barbara Haigh, who has run The Grapes pub in Limehouse for 17 years, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser of her relief at being able to sell it to someone who would “keep the pub as it has been for the last 300 years”.

“Sir Ian is a dear dear friend who lives next door but two to the pub,” said Haigh.

She added: “I let it be known that I wanted to sell up about 18 months ago, and Ian approached me a year ago to see if I was still interested in selling up. He made me an offer I accepted it.

“I was terrified somebody (else) was going to come in and totally change it (the pub) but now I know they are not going to do that. This deal has been made for purely sentimental reasons.”

McKellen, the 72-year-old actor famous for his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is employing a manager, Paul Mathias, to run the Grapes. which is part of the Spirit Pub Company estate.

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