A POPULAR pub on Hayling Island is set to close for good later this month.
The Hayling Billy pub, in Elm Grove, has been a fixture on the island for decades as a hub for gigs and local community groups.
But it is understood the pub will be closing permanently from June 27.
The Hayling Billy is owned by Enterprise Inns.
The debt-laden pub giant has sold off a large chunk of its estate across the country, selling 131 properties in the six months to March.
As reported, one of its pubs, The Green Dragon in Lovedean, was recently sold to Tesco.
The pub was converted to an Express store and opened for business last month.
Islanders said the closure was a big blow after the loss of another popular venue, The Rose in June, which is set to be turned into housing.
Paul Fisher, chairman of Hayling Island Residents’ Association, said: ‘I think it’s unfortunate because there’s going to be no pub in the centre of Hayling.’
John Bennett, who runs the Hayling Legends Classic Car club, which meets at the pub every week, said: ‘It’s a great shame.
‘They have been very supportive of us. We are going to have a problem finding another venue’.
The landlady of the pub was too upset to comment when approached by The News.
A message on an online community forum said: ‘Many thanks to all who have supported us over the past five years.’
A statement from Enterprise Inns said: ‘We can confirm the Hayling Billy pub is on the market for sale but we are not aware of any interest from Tesco.’