Bid to revive Hitchin pub dashed as cash buyer swoops in

The Sailor Boy pub in Hitchin has been closed down

The Sailor Boy pub in Hitchin has been closed down - Credit: Archant

Plans to revive a historic pub have been unsuccessful.

A business plan was put forward by the pub preservation officer at CAMRA North Herts, Malcolm Chapman, to purchase The Sailor Boy in Woolgrove Road, Hitchin.

The pub, which is Grade II-listed, closed in September last year.

The 65-year-old, who lives in Stevenage, told the Comet: “I wanted to turn the pub into a real ale and cider pub serving a whole foods menu and a teaching kitchen and have community activities. The Sailor Boy wasn’t much of a pub when it was open, and I had some good ideas to do something different.”

Mr Chapman presented his business plan to Enterprise Inns, the owners of the pub, but this was rejected when a cash purchase was made.


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“We were just going through who owned the fixtures and fittings of the pub and then I found out that the pub had been bought in cash by a grocery shop owner,” he said.

“I think he thought that the pub was being bought by Tesco and maybe bought it in fear of that. The Co-op had also expressed an interest in the pub, but they backed out.”

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Mr Chapman said that he would like to see the building remain as a pub and would be disappointed to see it turned into housing.

He added: “The owner has yet to reveal his plans for the pub, but there have been suggestions that it could be turned into an Indian restaurant.

“There are 35 pubs in Hitchin, it is a pub town and there are far too many housing developments in Hitchin, which is slowly losing its character.”

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