By Jenni Davidson
A popular Hanover pub The Greys closed its doors on Sunday (28 October) after the owners were unable to come to an agreement on a new lease.
Enterprise Inns, which owns the freehold on The Greys, offered licensees Chris Beaumont and Gill Perkins a lease renewal but at a level of rent that they believed was unsustainable.
They said that other factors, such as the smoking ban, a shift in drinking habits and changes to the area itself had also made business difficult.
According to Gill, there were now more students in Hanover and “students don’t drink in pubs”.
They have decided that the terms of the lease, on top of the other issues, make it financially unviable to continue.
Chris and Gill have run The Greys since 2003, but drank in it for 18 years before that, and even held their wedding reception there.
The Greys is famous for its Belgian beers, food and live music and is Brighton’s only Egon Ronay-listed pub.
Many musicians, including Martin Simpson, Martin Carthy, Damien Rice, Chip Taylor and Buddy Holly guitarist Tommy Allsup, have played there.
A drum skin above the bar signed by country band the Mavericks reads: “One night at The Greys makes six nights at the Royal Albert Hall pale in comparison.”
The Greys will reopen on Saturday (3 November) under the management of Nathan Wright.
He currently runs The Geese, which is also an Enterprise-owned pub, on the other side of Southover Street.
Wright is “aware of the public’s concern regarding The Greys” and is keen to reassure people that the pub will remain as it is.
“I’ll certainly look to continue The Greys’ history,” he said.
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