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Regulars mourn loss of Greenford's Red Lion pub

LAST orders have been called at the Red Lion pub in Greenford Broadway which has closed after an emotional farewell party.
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LAST orders have been called at the Red Lion pub in Greenford Broadway which has closed after an emotional farewell party.

Manager Claire Evans, 37, a Greenford local, said: "Customers are sad to see it go. They’re devastated but it’s taken out of our hands. They’re really sad and I am as well - I met my husband in this pub."

The poor economic climate was to blame for the closure on Friday (August 10)..

Owners Spirit Pub Company described it as an ‘unviable business’ while some punters commented on thinner evening crowds than in its heyday 20 years ago.

Neil Hunter, 76, of Allenby Road, Southall, has been a regular for more than two decades.

“I’m very sad to see it close,” he said. “I used to come and watch the horses and racing on the TV but they stopped doing that. It’s not as busy in the evenings anymore.”

Despite poor takings, Mrs Evans said the pub’s many loyal customers were devastated by the news.

“It’s ruined the community,” she said. “We don’t know where we’re going to met up now. There’s a couple of old girls who’ve been coming in here for donkey’s years. They come in every week and order the same food. It’s really upset them.”

Long term punter Dave Bradley, 46, who could be seen tearing around the place as a youngster, said: “I’m really sad, this is part of my life. The Red Lion is Greenford. If I win the Euromillions, I would buy it and give it a good refurbishment. My dad used to come here in the 1960s, and he worked behind the bar at one point.”

Tim Yearwood, 59, was equally sad, saying: “I’ve been coming her for the last 10 to 15 years. I’ve met so many characters in here. I’d like to see it resurrected as a new Red Lion.”

The large pub was in need of a makeover but popular for its evening discos and family-friendly beer garden.

Two nearby but much smaller pubs, Hennessys and The Wishing Well, are likely to benefit from the closure.

A spokesman for Spirit Pub Company said: “We can confirm that we have exchanged contracts for the Red Lion in Greenford and the pub closed on Saturday, August 11.

“After reviewing our estate, the Red Lion was identified as an unviable business for us and therefore was put onto the open market.”

Three of its seven staff have found jobs at other pubs in the chain.

It is unknown who the new owners are at this point and whether the site would be kept as a pub.

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