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Liverpool Road venue to open as pub after removing squatters

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 August 2016

The old 'Round Midnight pub and Zebedee. Picture: Google Maps

The old 'Round Midnight pub and Zebedee. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A former jazz bar in Liverpool Road will reopen next month as a gastropub after a slight delay – caused by squatters locking out builders.

Family business Hippo Inns took over the old Round Midnight venue in May. But while they were locked in negotiations a group of squatters moved into the site and had to be evicted with a court order.

Then, when contractors went in to start renovation work on the pub, to be named The Town House, they were joined by more squatters, who then locked them out – with their tools inside.

After another trip to see magistrates, the work was able to start and next month married couple Rupert and Jo Cleverly will toast the opening of their new pub.

The pair have plenty of experience in the pub industry and launched Hippo Inns after selling their company Geronimo Inns in 2010.

Geronimo owns a host of pubs across the capital, including The Curious Pig in Islington, while Hippo now has four venues, all in London.

Rupert told the Gazette: “Islington has long been established as a food and drink hotspot on London’s culinary map and it’s why we’re really looking to opening a site there.

“The doors will open in early September and we want the locals to view it as a genuine extension of their own homes.”

The Hippo Inns website says its venues host acoustic live music every evening from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.


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