Anger over Fuller's plans to reopen former live music venue as food-led pub

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fuller's plans for Half Moon Herne Hill angers campaigners

Related tags: Live music, Half moon, Nightclub, Hotel

Fuller’s has come under fire from campaigners fighting to keep a South East London pub as a grassroots music venue.

Alarm bells started ringing for locals who want to keep the Half Moon in Herne Hill as a live music venue after the pub company submitted a planning application to Southwark council that proposes the live music area be removed.

The application states: “The pub industry has developed such that pubs struggle to continue profitable trading on bar sales alone. Most successful pubs now need to have a considered food offer. Therefore, in addition to the hotel rooms, kitchen and restaurant areas to the rear of the ground floor are proposed in place of the previous live music area to ensure the success of the Half Moon.”

Peter Blair, who heads up the Save the Half Moon campaign​ group, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​: “We are not happy and we will make our voices heard. Fuller’s said it would make engaging with the local community its priority and that has not happened so far.

“The company is lacking in imagination if it thinks the pub couldn’t work as a live music venue-everybody who has played there has an interest in saving it and we’ve even had an offer from comedian Stewart Lee saying he wants to perform there in September.

“There’s an amazing history of live music at the Half Moon, from U2 to Paloma Faith. It’s a great venue and we all love it.”

However, Fuller's said it aimed to create a pub that could benefit the community for years to come.

"Fuller’s wants to see the Half Moon, a pub that has been closed for over two years, reopen as the beating heart of the local Herne Hill community. We aim to be reopening the pub, complete with a small number of hotel bedrooms, in the late summer subject to gaining relevant planning and listed building consents.

“Fuller’s is famous for providing great hospitality, a fantastic range of beers, wines and delicious, fresh food in an excellent environment and The Half Moon will be no exception. 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.

"While we may have occasional music, we do not believe that the pub is economically viable with a strong focus on live music. Secondly, we are not experts in late night entertainment. We are, however, experts in running fantastic, well-run pubs that cater for a broad section of the community with an excellent drinks range, delicious, fresh food and outstanding service.”

 The Save the Half Moon group is organising a day of tweets criticising Fuller’s om Friday (29 January 2016) and a March protesting the plans is set to take place on Saturday.

Restaurant critic Jay Rayner was among those to lend his support, tweeting: “Oi Fuller’s Brewery- try to take over the Half Moon pub and not give us back our live music venue you’ll have to fight us.

“We’re fighting to keep a live music venue open in Herne Hill. Fuller’s have other ideas.”

Related topics: News, Legislation, Other operators

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