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I’ll fight this decision to kick me out of my pub
7:50am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
A LANDLORD who pumped £30,000 into his local pub has been told he has to leave by the end of the week.
Mark Lester, 51, landlord of the Admiral Jellicoe, in High Street, Canvey, said he faces Christmas “on the streets” after his brewery, Enterprise, sent him a letter turfing him out.
However, shocked Mr Lester claims he has not been told why he has to go and says he will do all he can to stay.
He and his wife Lyn took on the lease 18 months ago after being regular customers for years. Mr Lester says he will now fight to keep the pub.
He said: “I put so much money into this place, I have rented my house so I could do it. It was on its knees when we got here.
“The leaseholders had left it derelict and run up thousands of pounds of debt so we put £30,000 into it because it is our local pub.
“We thought we would give it a go and we have turned the pub around.
“We cleaned it all up and we were just starting to level the ship, but now they want it back and they want us out by Christmas.”
Mr Lester said he has been threatened with legal action in order to turf him out, but it is still unclear as to why.
The pub has had a run of bad luck recently after a fire tore through the cellar last month. It had to shut for four days so a clean-up operation could be carried out and the damage, which was largely caused by smoke, could be assessed and repaired.
Mr Lester added: “We are fighting it, I am standing my ground – I don’t want to go. They are threatening me with legal action. I have told them my intentions and I have nowhere else to go. They are not putting us on the streets.”
Enterprise says it is now looking for a new leaseholder, but would not reveal to the Echo why it has decided to call time on Mr Lester’s tenure. It is not believed the pub is under threat of permanent closure.
An Enterprise spokeswoman said: “We have given the publican notice to quit in accordance with the terms of his tenancy agreement.
“The Admiral Jellicoe is a popular community pub and we aim for a smooth transition once a new publican has been appointed.”
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