By Connor Steel
JD WETHERSPOONS have announced that a popular restaurant in Fareham will soon close its doors to the public after they earmarked seven sites to put up for sale from Monday (November 14); which joins its similar statement back in September in which the company decided to close thirty-two of its facilities around the UK.
The Lord Arthur Lee, located in West Street, is named after the constituency politician in Fareham from 1900 until 1918 and is one of two restaurants owned by JD Wetherspoons within the surrounding area of the town shopping centre; the second being the Crown Inn based nearby to Iceland (opposite Sports Direct & Lloyds).
It received national media attention back in May 2003 when a banned drinker drove his car through the front doors before driving around inside the bar, causing £300,000 damages. The man also smashed 12 windows and further received a non-custodial sentence featuring community service work at Portsmouth Crown Court.
There are six fellow closures including the Coronet in Holloway, Cross Keys in Peebles, General Sir Redvers Buller in Crediton, Plough & Harrow in Hammersmith, Saltoun Inn in Fraserburgh and the Thomas Leaper in Derby; with the company believed to be cost-cutting due to current turmoil within the British financial market.
All seven restaurants are due to remain open for trading as Wetherspoons until new buyers have been found and deals completed; the company enlisting both Savills and CBRE to lead the process. It is however not yet known whether the seven sites will be sold to buyers individually, in small packages or as a building portfolio.
Paul Breen, director at Savills, seemed hopeful of quick sales as he said: “Despite the volatility in the current market interest in the properties which went onto the market in September has been encouraging with terms now agreed for several of the sites. We expect these additional (seven) properties to be equally appealing.”
Toby Hall, the senior director at CBRE, further added his own statement: “These additional properties are all substantial, well-located pubs which are fitted to a high standard. Most of these properties are coming to the market for the first time in many years which should give them a broad appeal to local and national buyers.”
Readers can find out relevant information about Fareham’s The Lord Arthur Lee restaurant by clicking on JD Wetherspoons’ website, which includes details about the company and menu options available to everybody.
PICTURED BY GOOGLE STREET MAPS: Lord Arthur Lee, based in West Street, will soon be shutting their doors Wetherspoons announce impending sales of seven nationwide franchise restaurants to future owners