REGULARS are reeling after The Old Fire Station pub in Hammersmith closed suddenly last week.
The popular Shepherd's Bush Road watering hole shut its doors for the last time on Friday night after the building was sold at auction.
Staff were given 48 hours to move and shocked customers drowned their sorrows with a raucous send-off party.
Manager Elliot Mayhall said pub owners Antic had been outbid at an auction to buy the building permanently and were told to leave almost immediately.
The Chronicle is investigating a rumour that the historic building, apparently owned by an Icelandic bank, has been snapped up by Sainsbury's - more on that as we get it.
Mr Mayhall explained: "Antic had been renting the building on a month-to-month building and had tried a few times to buy it at auction. Then earlier this week they went to buy it again but were outbid and that was that."
Elliot and his staff are being transferred to another Antic-run pub in Acton called The Acton Arms, formerly The Redback, while The Old Fire Station continues being stripped down.
One of the busiest pubs in Hammersmith, particularly on Thursday and Friday nights, The Old Fire Station was doing well financially, said Elliot.
"It was all very sudden. We were doing well and then it was over. There was always a possibility this could have happened but I didn't think it would be this quickly."
He and his staff say they will miss Hammersmith and were still struggling to digest the news. Barman of 18 months Dylan Fradley said: "It was a real shock. It's strange knowing I won't be coming in again, it's a great pub."
Elliot, manager since January, added: "It has been a whirlwind romance. Our customers embraced everything we tried to do. There aren't many pubs in the area where you can just come and have fun and I like to think this was one of them.
"I'm really sad to leave but excited about the new challenge in Acton at the same time."
Are you sorry to see the Old Fire Station go? What should take its place? Post your comments below.