The Lion and Lobster, a pub which has become one of Brighton’s most cherished and treasured establishments has been sold to City Pubs West for a record fee of £4.5 million.
The three floor pub, which dates back to the 19th century, has become well known for it’s cosy, welcoming atmosphere with it’s unconventional interior turning heads in the city. It is now considered to be the most expensive pub in Brighton following the deal, with the Chelsea-based owners taking the helms of the pub as of Mon 14th April.
Some have voiced their concerns after hearing the Sillwood street pub had been taken over by the chain, with many worried the idiosyncratic style may be lost during takeover. But Alex Derrick, chief executive of City Pubs West has assured locals that the pub will be keeping all it’s quirky charm, as well as the staff currently in place. “A lot of the value we paid for is in the pubs atmosphere, we intend to be keeping that much the same. It’s a well loved pub, we wouldn’t want to change it from that.”
David Grace and Abi Walker, residents in Brighton and locals of the Lion and Lobster said they didn’t mind who owned the pub, permitting it retains it’s unique style, not changing to become more in line with the mainstream pubs. “If the staff and the rest of it is staying the same, then I can’t see how it will effect me.” David did however voice fears that the pub may increase in price, with this being his main concern with the Chelsea owners.
Actor Gary Whelan purchased the pub back in 2001 for under £1 million off a friend, with the Bill star expanding the establishment throughout the years to also include an outdoor terrace. Prior to being called The Lion and Lobster, it was formerly known as The Olive Branch and The Rockingham.
City Pubs West currently own pubs in Bath, Winchester and London, but this is the first location to be bought in the seaside city. The company is owned by: Clive Watson, David Bruce and John Roberts. The trio have managed numerous pubs, including the successful Capital Pub Company, sold to 2011 to Greene King for an enterprise sum of £93 million.