The group, trying to guarantee that the Bohemia, in Finchley, remains a “valuable community space”, said it
is keen to work out a solution with the pubco and property agent Colliers before the next court hearing on Monday (18 November).
The court summons was issued by administrators Chantrey Vellacott, acting on behalf of former tenant Antic, which went bust in January — forcing the pub to close.
However, after the Bohemia closed, the squatters claim to have agreed with both M&B and Colliers to act as stewards of the property. They have occupied the pub since the end of September.
Hand back the keys
Spokesman Pete Phoenix said they were willing to hand back the pub keys as soon as a tenant is found to secure the future of the pub. He is also engaged in setting up a residents’ co-operative, which has secured pledges for £26,000 of the £80,000 needed for the lease.
He said: “We want to mediate, and not waste time and money through the courts. The Bohemia is a very popular community pub, and we want it to remain that way.”
Workshops and cabaret nights
Phoenix added: “We hold everything from workshops to cabaret nights to yoga classes. We keep the beer lines clean and have fixed a number of problems left by the previous tenant.
“We’ve had reps from M&B come in and tell us how impressed they are with the way we are running the place, so I can’t see why we can’t come to an agreement.”
A spokesperson for M&B said: “We can assure the community that we are working with a number of parties who are interested in trading the pub. We will continue to seek to bring the premises back into occupation at the earliest opportunity.”