The Royal Oak pub in Harlesden closes down 11 months after £500k makeover

PUBLISHED: 17:10 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:40 03 January 2017

The Royal Oak pub closed yesterday (Pic: Mícheál R. Goss)

The Royal Oak pub closed yesterday (Pic: Mícheál R. Goss)


A pub in Harlesden has closed down because it failed to attract enough drinkers less than a year after it underwent a £500,000 makeover.

The ground floor of the pub (Pic: Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd)The ground floor of the pub (Pic: Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd)

The Royal Oak in High Street, pulled its last pint yesterday just 11 months after it reopened as a gastropub in February last year.

The two-storey venue, owned by Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd, was initially popular with locals when it first opened its doors but a notice informing customers of its closure says it had been incurring financial losses for months.

Nick Pring from Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd told the Times that some customers were put off visiting the pub because of anti-social behaviour on nearby streets.

He said: “We are gutted to have to close The Royal Oak but the losses were becoming unsustainable.

The 'oak room' on the first floor  (Pic: Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd)The 'oak room' on the first floor (Pic: Urban Pubs & Bars Ltd)

“We have successfully converted dozens of pubs in up and coming areas all over London over the past 15 years and this is the first time we have had to close one due to it losing money – it makes more sense to keep it closed than to continue to operate it.

“Effecting issues around service is within our control but dealing with the anti-social behaviour that some of our customers have experienced in the surrounding streets is beyond our control and until the council can address these issues the likelihood is that we will continue to remain shut other like-minded businesses will struggle and Harlesden’s high street will struggle to attract investment.”

The company owns nine pubs in London including the Whippet Inn in Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise.

The closure of the Royal Oak has had a mixed reaction from Harlesden residents on social media website Facebook with some saying they were sad about the news while others claim it was too expensive.

A notice on the pub's doors (Pic: Mícheál R. Goss)A notice on the pub's doors (Pic: Mícheál R. Goss)

Julia Straker, who lives in Harlesden, said: “I think it was possibly a little expensive for its offer, bearing in mind many folk locally have young families and need to pick and choose their evenings out and cannot justify several evenings out in a month.

“Plus there are not a great deal of high income singles in Harlesden to prop things up.”

The Royal Oak is still available for private hire.

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