Historic building in Grove Park set to reopen as a pub

Baring Hall Hotel, Lewisham, Grove Park

Baring Hall Hotel, Lewisham. Pic: Ewan Munro

The Baring Hall Hotel in Grove Park, which was spared demolition in 2011 by a campaign started by local residents, will open its doors again on November 21.

Antic London, a business that runs pubs across the capital, has been successful in their bid to buy Baring Hall hotel and have proposed a £400,000 redevelopment of the building and the area surrounding it.

Subject to planning consent, Antic London plan to convert the building’s car park into a space for shops and accommodation, while the external space would be used for enterprises such as farmers’ markets.

After reversing the fortunes of other Lewisham pubs such as The Catford Bridge Tavern and The Ravensbourne Arms in Ladywell, Antic’s Head of Events and Promotions Fiona Collett was positive about the new venture.

“We hope to push the concept of the pub as a great, ale heavy traditional pub; serving fresh, home cooked produce, very much modeled on Catford Bridge Tavern.”

Closed after a firebomb attack in 2009, The Baring Hall Hotel was set to be turned into flats after an agreement between developers and Lewisham Council. However, the decision was overturned when The Grove Park Community Group (GPCG) appealed the decision at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.

Initially gaining an injunction for seven days, over the next three years councillors and the GPCG were able to enlist the help of high profile names such as Stephen Fry and restaurant owner Mike Belben, to secure the future of the building, and return it to its intended purpose as a pub.

Stephen Kenny, a long-term resident of Grove Park and key member in The Grove Park Community Group’s efforts, said Baring Hall’s reopening would be a “justification of all the hard work people have put in over the past few years.”

He added: “If Antic run the pub like the others they have in the area, I think it will will be a fantastic asset to the community.”

This was a view supported by councillor Liam Curran a self proclaimed Defender of Pubs and an instrumental part of the campaign to save Baring Hall.

He said: “The pub will encourage people to stay in the Grove Park area, not only enhancing footfall for the town centre, but also providing a greater sense of community for residents.”

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