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Trio of Abingdon pubs facing an uncertain start to 2014
AN Abingdon pub is on the verge of being sold, another has gone into receivership and Greene King has refused to deny rumours that a third will become a Tesco.
The pub giant says it is in a discussion with a potential buyer for the Grapes on High Street, but said details must remain confidential at this stage.
And last week, the Flowing Well at Sunningwell went into receivership, leaving those with Christmas bookings there in the lurch.
Greene King has advised anyone who has made a booking to contact the receivers O’Haras on 01274 800380.
The firm refused to deny remours that the Saxton Arms could become a Tesco.
A Greene King spokesman said: “While it is normal for us to review our pub estate from time to time, the Saxton Arms in Abingdon is not on the market. There is a tenant at the helm and the pub is open and trading as normal.”
Tony Goulding, chairman of the Abingdon Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch said he was shocked to hear about the Flowing Well.
He went on: “Abingdon has lost enough pubs already.
“The Grapes has been teetering for a while, and the Saxton Arms is another one.’’ With regard to The Grapes, Mr Goulding said that if any doubt about its future as a pub emerged, then CAMRA would be obliged to apply for status as a community asset.
He said: “We’ll put a community asset on it, we have got no choice.
“CAMRA is here to protect all the pubs.”
But he said he thought Wetherspoons, which opened opposite The Grapes on High Street in September, had been a good thing for the pubs in town in general, bringing more punters in.
Last week, the Oxford Mail revealed how Cross Keys landlady Lisa Rowberry had left the pub saying it “didn’t have a future”.
She claimed a newly-opened Wetherspoons had killed the pub’s daytime trade.
A Greene King spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the lessee of the Flowing Well has gone into receivership and because of this, the pub has closed temporarily.’’
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