Antic, the rapidly growing pub, bar and cafe chain, is to take over the William Stanley at Norwood Junction, and it is also hopeful of opening for business in some form this summer at the Norbury Mews site on which it has a planning application with Croydon Council.
Antic has more than 40 pubs and venues in and around London, including the Westow House, the Wallington Arms and Streatham’s Pratts and Payne, while it has several other venues in development – or “fermenting”.
It exchanged contracts on the William Stanley yesterday, and expects to spend around £250,000 to convert the former retail space into a new cafe bar over the summer, with work likely to begin in April or May.
The pub, on South Norwood High Street, has been described by Steve O’Connell, the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, as an “integral hub for the local community”. It is regarded as one of the busiest in the area, and is popular with football fans going to and from Crystal Palace matches at Selhurst Park. Operated by Wetherspoons, its future has been in question for more than a year.
Named after the Victorian inventor and philanthropist – who gave his name to nearby Stanley Halls – the William Stanley was advertised as available to let a year ago. Antic say they have been keen on acquiring the site for two years, and that they have now reached agreement with the leaseholders and have taken up a new lease.
Antic will “get the keys” in five weeks’ time – which suggests that Wetherspoons will be closing their operation there around the end of March.
At Norbury Mews, next to the railway station, the public consultation period on Antic’s renewed planning application came to an end on Monday. Croydon Council had originally refused planning permission for the pub operators to turn the site from its current use as a scrapyard-cum-garage into a bar, to the quiet outrage of local residents, who were generally supportive of the proposals.
The latest application has received 158 comments in support, and only one opposing the development.
“We hoped to have started work on the site a year ago,” an Antic spokesperson told Inside Croydon. “Giving the timings now, it’s unlikely we could have something open for business by the summer, so we may try to organise a pop-up venue there for the summer months.”
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