Locals celebrate as the Carlton Tavern finally re-opens
- Credit: Polly Hancock
The sun came out and so did locals as a rebuilt pub in Kilburn reopened, having been reduced to rubble six years ago.
The garden at the Carlton Tavern, in Carlton Vale, was full of happy faces on Monday (April 12) as service resumed on the same day lockdown rules eased.
The pre-war pub, which was first rebuilt in 1921, was demolished by developer CLTX on April 8 2016.
Ordered to rebuild it "brick by brick" by Westminster Council" and "in facsimile" by a planning inspectorate, the lease of the newly built pub is held by landlords Tom Rees and Ben Martin.
Tom said the day "has been a whirlwind" adding: "Ben and I have launched 15 pubs and this is the least prepared we've ever been but it's the most exciting. We're fixing things on the fly but we've a great team who have got on with things and nailed it."
Ben added: "It's been great, the sun is shining, people are smiling. There have been a few teething problems but as long as the guests don't feel it, we crack on."
Polly Robertson, who headed the Rebuild the Carlton campaign, said: "It's fabulous, everything's lined up for us weather-wise, people are excited to come out, enjoy a drink and see neighbours faces not seen for a while."
She said they now want to save the tiles were taken from the premises when the pub was destroyed to make a commemorative mosaic.
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"We are fighting to have the rubble back, brick by brick and tile by tile," she added.
Fellow campaigner Rob Cope said he was "euphoric", while Maureen Pepper said she would be "back on Saturday" having enjoyed a "lovely meal and lovely glass of wine".
Patricia Kinsella said it has been "six years of fun and tears".
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"It's late but I was worried it was never going to happen. Will it remain a pub? Will people carry on using it? We'll have to wait and see."
Sisters Antoinette Tully and Laura Tully used to sneak in as teenagers to play pool, and later held parties in the function room and said it was "nice to have the pub back".
Jean Petrou, a former darts player, said: "It's amazing, it's about time they redone it!"
Geoff Baraclough, Maida Vale councillor, said he was "delighted to get the pub back".
"It will make a big difference to people who use Paddington Recreation Ground and those who live in the locality," he said.
"It just shows what can be achieved with strong community action backed by a local authority prepared to use all the power at its disposal."