South Shields pubs The West Park and The Riverside have been sold – but only one will remain, with the other turned into flats.
The two taverns were sold through estate agents Christie + Co’s Newcastle office with the West Park fetching £255,000, and the guide price on The Riverside £120,000.
Pub property negotiator Mark Worley, who handled both sales said The West Park, on West Park Road, had been a prime target for property developers because of its large four storey building, densely packed surrounding homes, and the fact it overlooks parkland.
“The West Park has been bought by a firm of local developers, for conversion to residential use,” he said. “It was always going to attract alternative use, given the diminishing trade in a challenging economy, the size of the building and the high density residential surroundings.”
However, former Greene King pub The Riverside – on Mill Dam, near The Steamboat pub – has been saved after been taken over by a local landlady.
“The Riverside is being retained for licensed use and has been purchased by a very experienced local operator who is expanding her portfolio,” said Mark. “We wish her well in this new venture which we are sure will be good news for the locals.”
Last February The Riverside closed its doors with licensee Christopher Simpson at the time blaming rising rents and the beer tie as his reasons for leaving.
“The business just became untenable at the end,” he told The Shields Gazette.
“We started off paying rents of £50 a week, rising to £200 and then £600 a week. Even though turnover was good, those costs just meant it hasn’t been possible to continue.
“We’re tied in with the Greene King brewery and the pub next door was paying £100 less a barrel to it for the same beer. I found that totally unfair.”