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Coronavirus lockdown will see Hampstead’s Duke of Hamilton pub transformed into a community shop

PUBLISHED: 16:52 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:52 01 May 2020

New landlords of the Duke of Hamilton on New End, fromleft Adam Gostyn, and brothers Ben and Ed Robson. Picture: Polly Hancock

New landlords of the Duke of Hamilton on New End, fromleft Adam Gostyn, and brothers Ben and Ed Robson. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Hampstead’s historic Duke of Hamilton pub has been running a takeaway service to keep its business going during lockdown – and now its landlords are hoping a small shop on the premises will help it and the community to make it through a difficult summer.

New landlords of the Duke of Hamilton on New End, front Ben Robson with brother Ed Robson and Adam Gostyn. Picture: Polly HancockNew landlords of the Duke of Hamilton on New End, front Ben Robson with brother Ed Robson and Adam Gostyn. Picture: Polly Hancock

The plan is, according to Ed Robson – who runs the pub with brother Ben and friend Adamn Gostyn – to sell the essentials it has already been delivering to those in need to two customers at a time.

Ed also made it clear that clear communication from the authoriities about how and when lockdown would end was vital.

He told the Ham&High: “From next week we are going to open a shop at the Duke. It’ll be open from Monday and we’ll see how it goes. We have got to try something.”

Ed, Ben and Adam – Loci Pubs – also run the Clifton Arms in Maida Vale. That pub is currently completely shuttered, but the deliveries the team have been running are serving the W9 area as well as Hampstead.

The team are offering a range of groceries, beers and wines and even pre-prepared meals from the Duke’s New End premises.

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Ed added: “It’s a strange one. We were waiting for the support from the government, that’s now come through and has made a big difference.

“But the delivery scheme is barely covering its costs. If the shop doesn’t work, we’ll probably close until things are lifted.”

The team at the Duke said the goverment and local council support had helped keep them afloat – and been simple enough to access in both Camden and Westminster – but they’re wary about any partial lifting of the lockdown restrictions and the impact that might have on the hospitality business.

Ed said: “We would certainly prefer to remain closed for the rest of the year if it meant we could eventually open as close to usual at that point. If anything was in place that meant our revenue dropped even to about 75 per cent of normal, things would quickly be an issue.”

For the time being though, the key is to do “what we can to help the community and the pub get through this”.

Ed added: “It’s good to keep us in people’s minds and keeping us present – which hopefully will help when this is over.”

See thedukeofhamiltonnw3.com for product details and to order delivery.


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