Rethink over pub revamp

PUBLISHED: 10:30 12 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 10 June 2010

PEOPLE power has forced brewery bosses to rethink plans over a child friendly revamp that regulars feared would have lost them their local forever. The Farmhouse Inn, in Churchill Road, is a popular haunt for sports fans who watch events on the big scre

PEOPLE power has forced brewery bosses to rethink plans over a 'child friendly' revamp that regulars feared would have lost them their local forever.

The Farmhouse Inn, in Churchill Road, is a popular haunt for sports fans who watch events on the big screens and has a growing reputation for poker nights.

The owners, the brewery Greene King, had planned to open up the entire pub, the only one for 8,000 people in Brixington, to families and children.

But regulars feared the changes, which included adding gaming machines, moving the pool table into the sports bar area and the transformation of much of the floor space to cater for family eating, would have 'a devastating affect' on its atmosphere.

They said it would have limited the pub's ability to comfortably cater for those wishing to have a quiet drink with friends, and put off regulars watching sporting events and playing poker on Thursdays.

A near 900-name petition by regulars - gathered in just three weeks - has led to a compromise.

The over-18s sports bar has been retained, the restaurant remains for families while part of the restaurant has been 'zoned off' for 'young adults' over the age of 15.

"It's great news," said one regular. "Eleven years we have been going to the pub and people of all ages use it.

"There is ample space for everybody. We are not anti-kids. We wanted somewhere people could go and have a quiet drink and the lounge area is used by the more elderly patrons and those enjoying a quiet drink.

"Quiet and children are words rarely used together."

He added: "I was surprised they came up with this compromise, but I think they recognised the strength of feeling."

Matt Brown, a manager at Greene King said: "The Farmhouse is a pub for the entire community and to that end we strive to zone it to keep all people happy.

"There is a fantastic sports viewing area and bar, a comfortable adult dining/drinking area and a great family restaurant serving great value food and drink.

"All are welcome to our pub as they always have been. It is a fabulous, well run pub and all in Greene King is justly proud of it.

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