another local pub has closed its doors, temporarily at least.
I cannot claim to know it well. When I moved to Belvedere in 1987, but only five minutes walk from Abbey Wood station and the pub, a work colleague who lived just off McLeod Road (SE2) told me I should never go into the Abbey Arms. “Why not?” ”Because it is a rough house and someone was knifed in there last week.”
The News Shopper said it was “unforgivably repellent with the atmosphere of a morgue”.
I took the advice and would never have been inside if it were not for the fact I found myself co-opted to the Abbey Wood Traders’ Association three years ago for secretarial duties. The new landlady of the Abbey Arms was its Vice-Chairman and the Association met monthly in the Abbey Arms.
It was there that I picked up what little knowledge I have of the Abbey Arms and I am a little surprised that what I learned at those meetings is not quite lining up with what has happened this week.
Contrary to what is being said on the local Facebook pages, the pub does not appear to have been sold to Dirty Liquor by the massive (5,000 premises) pub operator Enterprise Inns. It is a partnership, although it is perhaps notable that Enterprise Inns’ web based pub search facility no longer shows the Abbey Arms.
The information provided to the Traders’ Association has been gradually amended over the past six months until two weeks ago it was reported that the pub would close after celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day and that the new management would take over on Tuesday 19th March.
That does appear to have happened but on reflection the assumption that it would immediately reopen looks to have been wide of the mark. It was reported that the refurbishment had been postponed until next Autumn at least and that the Association would be able to meet in the Abbey Arms as usual at the beginning of April.
It is possible that what is going on now, causing the pub to remain shut, is just a general cleaning up operation falling short of refurbishment. I am not aware of any news that may have leaked out into the street.
Dirty Liquor has gained an enviable reputation if web comments are any guide and I look forward to having a pub on my doorstep to which one would happily take friends.