More than 500 people have backed a campaign to protect a four-time CAMRA award-winning pub after learning its lease was being put up for sale.
Louisa Andrews is stepping down as landlady of the Red Lion, in Linkfield Road, Isleworth, having spent six years at the helm.
She has assured customers she is selling the remaining 12-year lease through a pub lettings agency and there is no danger of the building becoming anything other than a hostelry.
But that has not stopped them launching a campaign to protect the building, the freehold of which is owned by a Japanese firm, should its future as a watering hole ever come under threat.
They want the venue to be listed as an 'asset of community value', giving members of the public the chance to prepare a bid were it to be sold in future with the intention of knocking it down or changing its use.
Should they be successful, the pub would become just the third building in the borough to be granted such protected status. The others are the Tabard Pub and Theatre, in Chiswick, and Isleworth Public Hall.
Julian Joyce set up an online petition at 38 Degrees on Monday (February 16) to get the Red Lion listed, and within 48 hours it had more than 500 signatures.
"The pub's one of the reasons I moved to Isleworth. It's got an amazing community atmosphere, it stages pantomimes, has live music at least three nights a week and does a lot for charity," said the 53-year-old father-of-three.
"It's a real hub of this close-knit community, with a great neighbourly feel, and we want to preserve it as it is."
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has supported the use of the community asset powers, introduced under the Localism Act 2011, to curb the trend for converting pubs into flats or supermarkets.
Anyone can nominate a building to be listed, but they must provide evidence of its value to the community to support their case. Should the council approve an application, the owner can request a review.
If the owner of a listed asset wishes to sell up, a six-month moratorium is triggered, giving community groups time to prepare a proposal and raise the required capital. However, once that period is over the proprietor is not obliged to accept their bid.
The Red Lion was voted pub of the year by Richmond and Hounslow CAMRA four times between 2003 and 2010, and has been named by Time Out as one of London's top 50 boozers.
Ms Andrews said: "I've enjoyed my time at the pub and we've done a lot of fundraising for the Scouts, the MS Society and Cancer Research UK over the years. We also hold lots of community events, like the pantomime and the St George's Day celebrations.
"It's a great pub but I want a change. However, the building will remain a pub. It's not going to become a supermarket or flats or anything else."