Anger as popular Finsbury landlord and family thrown out of job and home after 25 years - boozer to be made into gastropub
PUBLISHED: 06:39 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:07 07 November 2014
A popular pub landlord and his family look set to lose their jobs and home of 25 years after the brewery decided to turn the venue into a trendy gastropub.
Brendan Clusky has run the Angel, in City Road, Finsbury, for more than a quarter of a century, as well as living upstairs with his wife and three children – his youngest daughter was even born above the bar.
He was given just two months notice in the summer and will have to leave on October 24 unless Mitchells and Butlers, which owns the venue, back down in the face of a campaign by almost 500 angry customers.
Mr Clusky said: “I am completely devastated. My wife keeps crying all the time and people keep coming in to say goodbye. It’s awful. This leaves me jobless and homeless. I have no idea what we are going to do.They have told me I have to go when I finish my shift that night.
“And they are so insensitive – they are sending people round to measure the place up for refurbishment while I’m still here.”
Amid pubs losing money and closing, Mr Clusky said he was confident that was not the reason for the change as he was still making a profit.
He said: “I’ve gone through five or six changes of owner during my time, but now they want to turn it into a young, funky-type bar.
“We’ve won Islington pub of the year, and I’ve never had a bad stock or a disciplinary or anything.
“If I had done something wrong I would hold my hands up and walk away, but I haven’t done a thing.”
Furious regulars have voiced their anger over the plan.
Jill Locker said: “I cannot believe that they are being thrown out of their home and workplace so soon before Christmas.
“They have brought their family up in that home, and they are like family to so many of the local people.”
Louise Stevenson said she felt “sad and angry that this is happening to such hard-working, dedicated people, and it would be a travesty if Mitchells and Butlers go ahead with their decision to ship Brendan and Dee out in order to turn this into yet another faceless gastropub”.
A spokesman for Mitchells and Butlers said: “We have been very open with Brendan Clusky about our plans.
“We have given Brendan notice of changes and offered him the opportunity to consider other vacancies within the company.
“Conversations between ourselves and Mr Clusky are still ongoing and are private, therefore we cannot disclose any further details.”
They added the Angel would become part of their Castle collection of venues and they needed a management team who had the experience of running this style of pub.
n A website, savetheangel.co.uk has been set up to try to save the pub