A Brent pub has announced it will be closing its doors this weekend after suffering ‘significant losses’ over the past couple of years. The Royal Oak in Harlesden has revealed that rising inflation and utility costs have made the business ‘untenable’.
The High Street pub and restaurant is known for its open mic and quiz nights. However, the pub’s management company took to Facebook yesterday (November 2) to deliver the news that Sunday (November 5) would be its last day.
Director of Urban Pubs and Bars, Nick Pring, announced “with considerable sadness” that The Royal Oak would have to cease trading abruptly and thanked everyone for supporting them over the years. He called the decision ‘personal and painful’.
He said: “It is terribly sad not just for us and the staff that work here, but also for the community of Harlesden. The business has been incurring significant losses for the past couple of years which we, as a company, have ridden out in the hope that we could turn a corner – however, recent cost price inflation and a 200 per cent increase in the cost of utilities have made the business untenable.”
The pub will open for those people who have already paid deposits for bookings in the lead up to Christmas and staff have been offered employment in some of Urban Pubs and Bars other venues, according to Mr Pring.
It is the latest in a spate of pub closures in the capital this year. London lost 46 boozers up to the end of June, according to data from real estate analysts Altus Group. The research shows that more than two pubs a day disappeared from communities across England and Wales over this time.
Mr Pring said: “We will be returning the keys to the landlord, and they will make a decision on the best way forward for The Royal Oak, but we very much hope it will continue to operate, serving the local community a good pint as it has done for many, many years previously.”
Harlesden councillor, Matt Kelcher, said he is “hugely concerned” to learn about the closure of the pub, which he called a “fantastic community meeting space”. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Cllr Kelcher announced he will be looking to hold an urgent meeting to see what Brent Council can do to help.