Friday 22 August 2008

Royal Oak next?

The word on the street is that the famous Royal Oak could be about to close. The pub has a long history with the Addicks and is widely regarded as the favourite matchday drinking venue for Charlton diehards. Should it close, it will join the Watermans Arms, The Victoria, The Thames Barrier Arms and the Horse and Groom in the graveyard of Charlton boozers.

The Oak has been struggling for two years since Clive Still took it over. A makeover by the Freeholder last year ripped the character out of the pub and the extension has had the perverse effect of actually making the pub quieter, not busier. It has been up for sale since before Christmas but there has been no interest at the £160,000 asking price. Clive has actually moved to Norwich, so the pub has been run by the existing bar staff for the last few months. Trade has hit rock bottom and home match revenue alone doesn't look like saving it.

I understand that it will be open tomorrow for the Reading game but close thereafter. Perhaps the plan is to open it on matchdays only for a while (like the Horse & Groom did), but the end may be nigh unless Mr Still finds a buyer.

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