The manager of the popular Nag’s Head pub in Camberwell has told the News her rent is set to double in April, which will force her to leave.
Julie Clifford has been offered a new lease by the pub’s freehold owner, Landlord Camberwell Road Ltd, for £75,000 per year. And on February 1 she found a display board had already been placed by the door.
“There’s nothing I can do, it looks like we’re going to be out in April,” Julie said. “The price is ridiculous, this is Camberwell not Covent Garden.
“I said we’re willing to pay £40,000. We were paying £35,000 and we struggled at times… They know we can’t afford it, but now at least they can say they did offer.”
But Julie vowed to stay open until the last day, and to see if they can instead be given until April 1, which would give them a weekend before to have a proper send off.
“I have done everything that’s possible, and it’s got me nowhere.
“I’m going to have to be blunt with my regulars, and make sure they realise there’s no real chance of me staying now. I love them all for doing so much but it’s not making a difference. The pub is privately owned, so there’s nothing that can be done.”
Julie took over the pub eight years ago, and had great support from locals, who even paid for her first beer order. “I’m going to miss every single one of them,” Julie said.
An online petition recently set up by pubgoer Kay Guidera is only 20 signatures short of reaching its 1,000-signature target.
Kay previously said: “This pub is one of the last originals in the area, as well as being part of our history and heritage.
“It’s a vital link for the people of Camberwell to congregate, particularly the elderly who perhaps don’t have any family close by and this is their only link with the outside world.”
The News attempted to contact the freeholder but received no response.
Visit www.change.org/p/harriet-harman-mp-parliament-uk-save-the-nags-head to add your voice to the campaign.