The Dyke closure

Licensee has 'never ever seen' ACV campaigners at his pub

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bid to save pub: licensee says pub did not make money
Bid to save pub: licensee says pub did not make money

Related tags: Pub, Types of restaurants

The licensee of a pub that ‘closed overnight’ and was turned into a furniture shop has defended his decision to shut the site, after campaigners submitted an ACV application.

The Dyke Pub & Kitchen in Brighton was closed last month​ to the shock of staff and locals, and its co-owner, Martin Webb, said those campaigning to keep it as a pub have ‘never ever been seen in the pub’.

The management had tried various initiatives to make the business viable including themed nights, DJs, fine dining, a £20,000 refit and opening an early morning café, but it was losing approximately £5,000 per week at the time of closing.

Webb has run 40 pubs in Brighton and claimed to have never closed a pub before, but was forced to because the Dyke was struggling financially. He also reportedly welcomed the prospect of the community buying the pub, which they will have first dibs on should the ACV (asset of community value) be approved.

A 1,300-strong petition has also been presented to the local council by campaigners, and the council is expected in eight weeks.

'Didn't make any money'

Webb told The Argus​: “We have absolutely no plans to sell it and if the community wanted to buy it, it would be fine.

“The pub is shut because it did not make any money. I’ve run 40-odd pubs in Brighton and I’ve never shut a pub before. So we’ve turned it into a nice store and yet a whole lot of people are complaining – who we have never ever seen in the pub.”

Campaigners of Save the Dyke Pub said they are confident the Dyke will be listed as an ACV due to the application’s strong support from the community.

Last month, campaigner Ian Fardell said: “People are outraged about this. If you’re a struggling business we understand you have to make money, but talk to us and we’ll see what we can do as a community to sort it out.

“If we can make it a community pub, we would do. I don’t think there would be any problem with that. But we’re quite happy to work with [the owners] to make it a success for them and make it a success for the community.”

Related topics: Legislation

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