Jack Hunter, who runs east end boozer the Queens Head in Limehouse, said to be the inspiration for Eastender’s the Queen Vic, is attempting to raise over half a million pounds to buy the pub after it was put on the market by leaseholders the Unity Welfare Foundation earlier this year. The pub is listed as an asset of community value (ACV), which means the local community has six months to raise the money and make a bid.
Hunter told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “We’ve raised quite a considerable amount so far but we still need to raise a lot more. It’s the old story- the pub is the least profitable part of the building, we’ve got five bedrooms here and we’re two miles away from Trafalgar Square. The pub has a huge amount of heritage and I’d be heartbroken if it closed.
“However, we’re not out with a begging bowl. We’re offering shares and people who invest will get a return. I’ve seen other examples of communities rescuing dilapidated pubs and that’s not the cause with us, we’re a trading business.”
Hunter, who operates the pub with his partner Denise West, added that he hoped to receive further funding from the Plunkett Foundation and use his connections in the music industry to organise fundraising events at the pub.
Actor and Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen is among the famous faces to have visited the pub and took part in a traditional Easter celebration at the Queens Head last month.