VILLAGERS are worried after a popular pub which was recently refurbished suddenly closed.
The Wheatsheaf pub in Titchfield, one of just three pubs in the village centre, was boarded up on Monday.
It’s not yet known why the pub was suddenly closed but now customers and owners of other pubs are concerned about the future of the village, fearing that less people will visit.
Matt Forster, manager of the Queen’s Head, said: ‘From what I’ve heard the staff were called into a meeting.
‘They were told at the meeting that the owner has decided not to keep it running.
‘When we moved in here four years ago there were four pubs.
‘Now we are down to two.
‘It’s surprising. It seemed to be taking off, there seemed to be people in there all the time.
‘It’s a shame really.
‘If it worked as a restaurant it would have helped raise the profile of the village and it would have helped us as well.
‘If it’s doing well, more people come into the village.
‘We’ll gain a few regulars if it’s shut but we would rather see the village grow.
‘It’s shocking and a bit disappointing.’
Work was carried out on refurbishing the restaurant in the Wheatsheaf pub just last year.
Cherry Meakins, owner of The Bugle pub, added: ‘We are extremely sad that it’s closed.
‘At the end of the day it’s a village environment and the more public houses that are open bring people into the village.
‘We don’t want Titchfield to die altogether.’
Punter Ian Davis, 51, lived a few doors down from the pub in East Street. He was there with his wife on Sunday afternoon.
‘I was shocked,’ he said.
‘The worst thing is that it reduces the vibrancy of the village. I thought it was lovely. There were a nice bunch of regulars.
‘When you have got village pubs you don’t have to drive to them and that keeps them going. I’m still in shock. It was there one day and gone the next.’
County Caterers Ltd, which managed the pub, refused to comment.