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Archway Tavern: Commercial lettings firm who bought pub for £3.8m wants it 'restored to former glory'

PUBLISHED: 16:01 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:07 20 January 2020

The Archway Tavern. Manager Sokol Toska behind the bar. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Archway Tavern. Manager Sokol Toska behind the bar. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The pub chain that owned the Archway Tavern sold the building last year for £3.8million, while licensing issues continue to plague its promised reopening.

The Archway Tavern. Manager Sokol Toska reveals the threshold to a former incarnation, when the pub was called The Tram Bar. Picture: Polly HancockThe Archway Tavern. Manager Sokol Toska reveals the threshold to a former incarnation, when the pub was called The Tram Bar. Picture: Polly Hancock

Enterprise Inns, which two years ago put pressure on leaseholder Dr Imtiaz Sardar to reopen the historic boozer, decided to cash in on the building in March.

It was sold to Wapping real estate company Searchgrade Ltd, whose director David Pearlman has the same role at commercial lettings firm Pearl and Coutts, which is headquartered in White Lion Street.

Mr Pearlman told the Gazette: "As a local business, we are as keen as everyone else for the pub to be restored to its former glory and reclaim its rightful place at the heart of the local community. As such we are pursuing all practical means to achieve that end."

Management opened the doors to the historic pub for the first time since 2014 in November, saying it would be pulling pints from Thursday to Sunday until it ironed out a few licensing problems with the council.

But so far opening hours have been sporadic, extending what seems to be a never-ending saga surrounding the pub.

The venue currently has an umbrella licence shared with Nightclub Koli upstairs and a bar at the rear of the building. Koli licensee Sokol Toska is also the person behind the reopening of the pub.

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But the sole licence for all venues means the tavern needs to meet the same conditions when open, including security staff.

The council has explained to Mr Toska how an application can be made to separate the licence into three, but as yet no plans have been submitted.

Junction ward's Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: "As ward councillors, we are very keen to see the Archway Tavern reopen.

"Given their prime location facing on to Navigator Square, one of the borough's key community spaces, we hope it will be another local business that contributes positively to our community, as so many do in Archway."

Fellow Junction councillor Dave Poyser added: "I can tell you that a lot of locals are very angry about this situation.

"After all the effort everyone has put into making Navigator Square at the Archway a wonderful local venue, it's really awful the pub, which should be the hub, is just an inviting tease of beer and spirits signs.

"The iconic tavern is not the community drinking and socialising focal point that it could so easily be."

Mr Toska has not responded to a request for comment.

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