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Councillors bid to save Harlesden Royal Oak pub from closure UK News

After rumours spread, The Royal Oak pub in High Street, Harlesden, confirmed in a heartfelt statement yesterday (November 2) that it would be closing its doors on Sunday (November 5).

Nick Pring, the director of Urban Pubs & Bars, said the decision was due to the business “incurring significant losses” over the past few years and inflation making the business “untenable”.

Many locals expressed their sadness over the news, but local Brent Councillors pledged to try to save the pub.

Cllr Matt Kelcher said on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was working with Brent Council’s deputy leader Cllr Mili Patel and Cllr Jumbo Chan to hold an “urgent meeting” with the council “to see how we can help”.

The Harlesden and Kensal Green councillor told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “The Royal Oak is a Harlesden institution.

“It’s impressive façade has stood on our high street since the Victorian era and is as recognisable as our famous clock tower.

“Today it has become a vital community hub, not only offering a friendly environment for local patrons, but also hosting countless community events such as the Harlesden Mutual Aid awards.

“I will be working with the council and local community to do whatever I can to save it.”

It’s understood that the councillor hopes that the establishment remains as a public house in the future and believes that it should keep its 19th century architectural structure, whatever its future might hold.

One reader said on X: “This sucks. Used to do one of the best Sunday roasts in London.”

On the public Love Harlesden residents’ forum group on Facebook, a person said: “One of my favourite bars back in the seventies when I lived in the area.”

Another person said: “Running costs have now got out of hand as they’ve become far too expensive to handle now, in fact lots of other business have been suffering similar issues with running costs.”

Mr Pring said: “I, like many of you, have enjoyed many celebrations and good times in this wonderful pub, which makes this decision all the more personal and all the more painful.

“We will be returning the keys to the landlord and they will make a decision on the best way forward for The Royal Oak, but we very much hope it will continue to operate, serving the local community a good pint as it has done for many, many years previously.”

Any bookings accepted for Christmas will still take place and staff have reportedly been offered employment in other venues.

This is not the first time that the Royal Oak has had to close its doors, as it closed down in 2017, 11 months after a £500,000 makeover. It reopened months later under new management.

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This notice was published: 2023-11-03 16:29:39

By Times Series

Times Series, The News from the London borough of Barnet, and Borehamwood & Elstree.

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