The pub, which was closed following a flood, was listed as an ACV at the end of last year. Save the Half Moon campaigner Peter Blair told a local blog: “It’s important to remind ourselves why we were awarded ACV status. It’s for the contribution of the pub to the social wellbeing of our community. To give one example, the Lambeth Music Network used to hold end of school term Saturday gigs at the Half Moon before it closed.”
Pub company Fuller’s bought the lease of the pub, which has a long history of live music, from Dulwich Estates earlier this year, and intend to reopen it this summer.
Dulwich Estates were not available for comment. However, a spokesperson from Fullers said: “We are aware of the challenge to the ACV – which is being made by the owner of the pub, The Dulwich Estate.
“We are continuing with our application for planning permission as we do not believe that the ACV status as a public house is affected by our proposal which aims to get the Half Moon, which has been closed for two and a half years, open as soon as possible and restored to its rightful place at the centre of the local community.”
Fuller’s have previously come under fire from locals for planning to replace the live music area of the pub with a dining room. On Twitter, Metro news editor Joel Taylor said: “Don’t insult the local community by saying you want to reopen the Half Moon as a community pub while ignoring them.”
Food critic and Herne Hill local Jay Rayner has also said he will ‘fight’ to have the pub reopened as a live music venue.
The pub company has stressed that its primary aim is reopen and invest in the Half Moon.
A spokesperson said: ““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.”