A South Croydon pub, closed for almost a year, is set to re-open at the end of August after a £400,000 transformation into an Irish-themed gastro-pub.
The man behind the makeover is pub entrepreneur Austin Whelan, who has lengthy experience of operating bars in and around Croydon over the past 20 years.
The Baskerville, on Selsdon Road, is owned by the Star Pubs & Bars chain, which leases premises to independent operators.
The Baskerville had previously been known as The Folly, an uncannily suitable name for a bar which enjoyed the trade brought over the road from the Sadvertiser, at a time when the not-so-local paper still had an office in Croydon.
Despite its first costly makeover, and a busy, regular trade on its music nights, The Baskerville closed last October when the then landlord decided not to continue operating. With two other pubs along the Selsdon Road also having closed for redevelopment in the past 18 months, local residents and ward councillors were concerned that the large Baskerville site might also be vulnerable to property speculators who might want to build some get-rich-quick flats.
But this week, Star Pubs & Bars have announced that it is to be re-opened by Whelan. It will be his fourth Irish-themed pub. Most recently, he opened a Whelans in Kingston.
According to a report in the trade press today, “As at other Whelans sites, the Croydon pub will feature cabinetry designed to look like an Irish street and a palette of emerald green, black and gold. Alongside wine, craft beer, Irish malt whiskey and gin, there will be light bites for lunch, Irish-influenced dishes and a Sunday roast. The pub will show live sport on 16 screens, plus live music three nights a week.”
Whelan has worked in the pub trade all his life, getting his first tenancy in a Young’s pub in Thornton Heath when he was 21. He took on the Bedford Tavern on Sydenham Road in 2002, and since then he has acquired nine other pubs, in and around London, and in Dublin, and including the Purley Arms on Brighton Road.
Whelan said: “Having two successful pubs in Croydon already, I know the area well.
“South Croydon needs a good-quality, affordable pub and its own entertainment spot. Whelans will provide that.”
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