A POPULAR city pub has closed its doors for good and part of it has been turned into student accommodation.
The Trafalgar, a Lloyd’s No. 1 bar, in Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth, closed on Sunday, July 17 after 13 years in the city.
As reported, it had been put up for sale by owner JD Wetherspoon at the end of last year along with 33 of its other UK pubs as part of a ‘periodic review’ of its stock.
Company boss Tim Martin said the 33 pubs had up to 30 per cent poorer sales than others it operated.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said the sale had been completed and no jobs were lost as a result.
He said: ‘We have exchanged contracts to sell the pub and the sale completes on August 19. The pub is being sold to the owner of the upper floors.
‘All of the pub staff have been retained by Wetherspoon and relocated to other pubs within the company. We thank the pub’s customers for their loyalty over the years.’
About 50 staff have been transferred to other Wetherspoon pubs.
GI Contractors, a Southsea firm, is behind the conversion. A planning application had been submitted to Portsmouth City Council last summer, and approved, to turn the upper floors into a halls of residence with 83 study bedrooms.
The plan also includes the construction of bridge link at third and fourth floor levels. The ground floor will remain as a pub, but has yet to be occupied and was empty yesterday.
Shoppers in Portsmouth were sad to see the closed pub.
Chris Watts, 29, from Cosham, said: ‘I’m surprised as it was never empty when I was in there. You don’t often hear about Wetherspoon’s pubs closing down either.
‘I’m not happy about more flats being built in an already congested city. Planners need to understand that building everywhere is not a good thing as it stretches resources.’
Vincent Hilaire, 55, from Hilsea, said: ‘It’s a shame really. I don’t think there’s enough places to have a quiet drink and relax in the town and taking another one away is a real shame.’
Student Andrew Joseph, 31, from Portsea, said: ‘I don’t know how I feel about more flats, I don’t think that sounds so great. It’s always nicer to have pubs around.’