St Albans pub shuts due to lack of business

The leaseholder of The Rose and Crown pub in St Albans handed back the keys to Punch Pubs this week.

The leaseholder of The Rose and Crown pub in St Albans handed back the keys to Punch Pubs this week. Picture: Matt Adams - Credit: Archant

Another iconic St Albans pub in the conservation area is closed up with the curtains drawn.

The Rose and Crown in St Michael's Street has shut after leaseholder Richard Marrett handed the keys back to Punch Pubs after three years of running the business.

They were reportedly struggling to make money despite investing in improvements such as an upgrade of the beer garden and serving food.

Richard said: "We were very disappointed to close The Rose and Crown after three great years.

"We are grateful to all our supporters and regulars over the past few years. My particular thanks go to the great team of staff."

A spokesman for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) whose headquarters are in Hatfield Road, lamented the loss of another one of the city's pubs. He said: "Pubs in St Albans have come under increasing pressures due to, amongst other things, business rates. We hope that The Rose and Crown will re-open as soon as possible as it is one of the iconic pubs in our city."

A spokesperson for Save St Albans Pubs said: "Our independent landlords are fighting to survive in an industry that is overtaxed and in a tough near recessionary economy.

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"The loss of yet another much loved community pub, The Rose & Crown, reflects how much at risk our industry is.

"One in every three pounds spent in pubs goes to the taxman, whether Beer Duty, business rates or VAT.

"Without urgent action from the government, our community pubs, owned by hard working local landlords, who put their heart and soul into making a pub like the Rose and Crown a special, welcoming environment, will continue to close. It's time for the government to support the industry, once a pub is gone, it's gone."

Chariman of St Albans Civic Society Tim Boatswain said: "We are very worried about this as it is such a big part of our culture. The cause of the problem is business rates and the government needs to give some relief or we are going to see more pubs closing down. We have already lost two pubs in Fishpool Street."

Neighbouring pubs,The Blue Anchor and The Black Lion, were both converted into homes for the same reasons in the last decade.

We tried to contact management at the pub and the brewery but neither responded.