Potential landlords shown around The Bohemia pub as Tesco rumours are played down (From Times Series)
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Potential landlords shown around The Bohemia pub in North Finchley as Tesco rumours are played down by agent Colliers
Squatters who gained access to the empty building last week, joined by a local supporter (back right), say they will freely leave the pub is a new landlord is found
Potential landlords have been shown around The Bohemia pub days after it was occupied by squatters.
Estate agency Colliers hosted viewings for two parties on Tuesday, both of whom have shown interest in reopening the popular venue.
Rumours of Tesco making an offer for the building have been played down by the agent, who says a pub tenant is the current preference.
Squatters, who gained access to the empty building last week, have been in discussions with Colliers and say they will freely leave the premises if the wishes of the local residents, for a community-orientated pub to reopen, are met.
The High Road bar in North Finchley was closed by owners Mitchells and Butlers in August, almost a year to the day since it opened.
Squatters were given a set of keys by an un-named individual on Thursday and the group has since re-opened the pub as a makeshift community centre.
Dancing, knitting and singing classes, as well as workshops and film nights are all being organised and more than 50 people attended a meeting on Monday night to show their support.
Traders on the High Road have donated electrical items and food to the occupiers, who have also collected more than £250 in donations from supporters.
Group leader Pete Phoenix showed the Times Series around the former bar, which now contains mattresses and a makeshift bathroom, as well as a community notice board, mini library and swap shop.
He said the group had been in positive discussions with Colliers and believes there is a good chance of the pub reopening.
He said: “The talks have been fruitful. We don’t want to stand in their way if they’re opening a community pub.
“We will be caretaking the building until an agreement is reached and the builders come in. When they have a timeline, they will let us know.
“We’re very happy to be back in Barnet and to be facilitating the reopening of the pub as quickly as possible.”
A representative for Colliers said the search for new occupants was “in the early stages” and would not comment on the situation regarding the squatters.
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