Fuller's saves the day for iconic pub closed for more than two years

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Locals campaigned to reopen the Half Moon Herne Hill
Locals campaigned to reopen the Half Moon Herne Hill

Related tags: Half moon, Dulwich, Nightclub

Locals fighting a spirited and long-running campaign to save an iconic south-east London pub are celebrating after it was bought by Fuller's.

The Half Moon in Herne Hill has been closed since 2013 after it was badly damaged when a pipe burst in the area, causing severe flooding.

Residents had feared the iconic music venue, which has hosted U2 and The Police in its time, could be turned into a hotel or restaurant.

Locals 'delighted'

Fuller's confirmed yesterday (5 January 2016) that it had bought the Half Moon.

"In conjunction with The Dulwich Estate, we will be making a substantial investment in the pub to return it to its former glory. We aim to reopen the pub, complete with a small number of hotel bedrooms, in the late summer, subject to gaining relevant planning and listed building consents.

"Our aim is to create a wonderful pub that the local community can be proud of and that will have a place in the daily life of Herne Hill for many years to come."

Peter Blair, who led the Save the Half Moon​ campaign told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: ​"This is the pub where Dylan Thomas drank, Frank Sinatra sang, U2 first met Chris Blackwell from Island Records, and Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand performed stand-up comedy. It's a unique proposition for Fuller's, and we very much hope that they will respect both the traditions of the pub and the will of the local community to retain it as a grassroots music venue moving forward."

"We are delighted to hear about plans for the reopening of the Half Moon. As the pub is now an asset of community value, we will continue to seek to work with Fuller's to reinstate the live music and performance tradition at the Half Moon when it reopens."

'Class act'

The Campaign For Real Ale's (CAMRA) pub protection officer Neil Pettigrew added: "CAMRA members are thrilled that Fuller's have taken on the lease at the Half Moon. Fuller's is a class act - it not only brews excellent beers but it also understands the importance of keeping pub interiors traditional - unlike so many other pub operators who insist on ripping out original features and painting everything grey these days. 

"The Half Moon has one of the most flamboyant pub exteriors in the whole of London - there is a cupola tower, a Flemish gable, an ornate balcony and all kinds of stone and stucco flourishes. Its large rear room has a long tradition of hosting live music and, although we understand that Fuller's may plan to use this area as a restaurant, we hope they will also recognise the importance of occasionally using this space for live music events - something that the local community is very keen to see continue."

Celebrity support for the campaign came from food critic Jay Rayner and comedian Jo Brand, who told the South London Press​ that the Half Moon was "the centre of the universe" for people in the area. 

Related topics: Other operators

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