Staff 'heartbroken' as popular pub closes - but owners are fighting to reopen venue (From Times Series)
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Staff 'heartbroken' as The Bohemia in North Finchley closes - but owners Gregarious Ltd are fighting to reopen venue
Staff at The Bohemia in North Finchley were told on Friday morning not to come in to work. Pic: Facebook
A popular North Finchley pub has been unexpectedly shut down less than one year after it opened.
The Bohemia, in High Road, suddenly closed its doors on Friday less than 24 hours before it was due to host a celebration to mark its first anniversary.
Surprised customers arrived to find a note in the window stating it had closed “due to unforeseen circumstances” on Friday morning before an announcement was posted on the bar’s official Facebook page.
It read: “Hi guys, Sophie here - Just wanted to let you know that we have indeed been closed, so the party will not be happening tomorrow. Thank you for all the love over the past year, you've been utterly fantastic.”
The pub’s owners, Gregarious Ltd took over from former owner Antic, which went into administration in January with reported debts of £4.3million.
Accountancy firm Chantrey Velacott was appointed as administrators in February but it is understood the closure of The Bohemia was a decision by the current landlords, who opted not to renew a one-year lease.
The Times Series has so far been unable to contact anyone at Gregarious Ltd but the company posted this message on its Facebook page on Saturday: “With regards to Bohemia, it's not over yet.
“We have been unable to come to an agreement with Colliers, the agent acting for the head lessor (sic) and were forced to close our doors yesterday as a result.
“We are still trying to find a way to reopen Bohemia, but it appears others would prefer the pub to remain closed, which is really disappointing for both us and the good folk of North Finchley.
“You can help by mailing letters of support to me on email@example.com and I will forward to head lessor (sic)."
Barmaid Jasmine Stevenson said the pub’s 15 to 20 members of staff received phone calls on Friday morning telling them not to come in to work.
The 25-year-old, from North Finchley, said: “We’re all a little bit heartbroken. Everyone is just gutted – we put so much into the pub to make it a friendly environment and a nice place to chill out and it is so tough to know that won’t be there anymore.”
More than 100 people commented on The Bohemia's Facebook page, expressing their disappointment at Friday's announcement.
Staff are due to have a meeting with senior Antic Ltd managers this evening to obtain more information on the closure, with rumours of a takeover bid from a supermarket being passed around bar workers.
Employees at The Bohemia have been told they will be offered shifts at other Antic Ltd venues but these could be as far away as Stoke Newington.
Jasmine said: “We kind of knew we weren’t doing massively well and we were worried about our jobs but it was a surprise.
“Most people in the area made the pub their community hub and we had so many groups come in and meet there.
“There are different stories and rumours going around about what will happen to it so we’re hoping to get some answers tonight.”
The Times Series is awaiting comment from the administrators and Gregarious Ltd on the closure.
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