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Owners' promise over Hampstead's Magdala pub reopening

PUBLISHED: 17:01 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 June 2016

The Magdala Tavern.  Picture: Polly Hancock

The Magdala Tavern. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The owners of the much-loved historic Magdala Tavern in South End Green have pledged to reopen it as a pub later this year.

The future of the watering hole - where the last woman to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis, shot her boyfriend - has been uncertain ever since it closed its doors in February.

Leaseholders Perritt and Perritt closed the 19th century pub a month after taking it over in January as they could not agree terms of their lease with owners.

But now owners Bow Capital Ltd, who bought the building for £2.1million from Punch Taverns, say they are drawing up an agreement with new leaseholders who will run the Magdala as a pub with “a good food menu.”

Donna Dowman, estate manager for Bow Capital, said: “We could not agree the right rent with Perritt & Perritt. Since then it has been on the market and we have had a lot of good interest. We have selected a party to take over the pub and are finalising agreements for a 20-year lease.

“We have spent £400,000 refurbishing the pub. It is beautiful inside and we have always intended to reopen it as a pub to serve the community. There has never been any other intention.”

Meanwhile, she said, work is continuing on a scheme to convert the upper floors of the building into two two-bedroomed flats with a Mansard roof. which was given permission in March 2015

Bow have also submitted an application to Camden planners for a new kitchen extractor fan and flu to serve the pub’s kitchen, which has sparked some concern from immediate neighbours about noise pollution.

Hampstead residents have long been campaigning to “safeguard” the historic watering hole which is said to bear the bullet holes of the 1955 Ruth Ellis murder, and had it listed as an asset of community value by Camden Council in September 2014.

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