'It was criminal leaving it empty' - excitement as Bohemia pub reopening announced (From Times Series)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or upload here
The London Brewing Company to reopen The Bohemia pub in North Finchley
A pub will reopen as a “loved” community venue - months after a dramatic raid to evict squatters who had set up home in the abandoned building.
People were “heartbroken” when The Bohemia closed was unexpectedly closed by owners Mitchells and Butlers last August - just a few days shy of its first anniversary.
But the shutters will come off the North Finchley pub after the London Brewing Company announced its plans to take over the premises in the spring.
After gaining access to the empty building in late September, a dozen squatters opened it to the community, running workshops and events including yoga, salsa dancing and film nights.
But after a lengthy court battle, bailiffs evicted the self-proclaimed community activists.
Helen Michael, who owns Cafe Buzz opposite the pub, said: “It’s fantastic news - just wonderful. To have a pub in a prime position on the high street empty was just criminal, it was going to waste.
“It was awful, it wasn’t helping any of our businesses. The thought of finishing work and rolling over to the pub for a drink was so nice.
“The more that opens up the more that encourages people to come down. I am so excited.”
The brewing company now plans to carry out an extensive refit, serving its own beers which will be brewed on site, with a microbrewery in the middle of the bar.
Dan Fox, of The London Brewing Company, said, “I am thrilled to finally we able to return The Bohemia to North Finchley.
“As a resident, The Bohemia was my local pub before its closure and I feel strongly that this has given me a real understanding of what the community loved about it as a venue.”
Councillors chose to name the pub as a community asset last year, protecting it from demolition.
Alex Hill, associate director of leisure at property advisers Colliers International, said, “The Bohemia is a fantastic community asset and received a vast amount of interest from many established pub operators.
“We and our clients could not be happier that this much loved pub will now be returned to the community with such an outstanding operator on board with its unique brewing concept.”
Comments are closed on this article.