Shock at sudden closure of two pubs

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TWO of Longridge’s landmark pubs WILL be re-opening after suddenly shutting their doors to customers at the end of last week.

Fears that the historic Towneley Arms, on Berry Lane, and Duke William, on Chapel Hill, may be closed for good were lifted this week by pub company bosses, who promised that both would soon be back in business.

According to owners Punch Taverns the Towneley, housed in the town centre’s former station hotel, was due to re-open last night (Tuesday) with a temporary licensee.

Meanwhile the owners of the 1880’s built Duke William, Enterprise Inns, said that negotiations to re-open the pub were ongoing but they hoped to be welcoming cutomers back “as soon as possible.’’

Licensee for both pubs, local businessman Martin Carefoot, declined to comment on the reasons for the sudden closure of the pubs when approached by The News this week.

Another business interest of Mr Carefoot’s, the Fantasia flower shop on Berry Lane, also closed without warning on Saturday.

Fantasia opened in time for Mothering Sunday last year. Its closure after less than a year’s trading leaves the town centre without any flower shops after the closure of the Paul Lomax shop last summer.

Mr Carefoot also owns Carefoot’s butchers on Inglewhite Road, which continues to trade as usual.

Commenting on the closure of the Towneley, a spokesperson for Punch Taverns said this week that the pub was due to re-open on Tuesday with a temporary licensee, “whilst we look for someone to take it on permanently to build a successful, sustainable business.”

A spokesperson for Enterprise Inns said of the Duke William: “We are currently in communication with the existing tenant and other interested parties and we look forward to re-opening the pub as soon as possible.”

* Agents acting in the sale of the former Spar premises on Berry Lane, Robert Pinkus and Co Ltd, say the building is currently under offer - but NOT to the clothes shop chain M&Co, as had been rumoured in the town.

Longridge agents Dewhursts have revealed they have secured a new tenant for the former Bay Tree and Paul Lomax premises at the bottom of Berry Lane, while the former Anjis Emporium on Berry Lane is due to re-open as the Sofa and Bed Company Limited.