Historic London pub to reopen six years after bulldozing by Israeli company

Historic London pub to reopen six years after bulldozing by Israeli company

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A historic London pub that was illegally demolished by an Israeli development company two days before it was declared a heritage site will reopen on Monday, six years after city council ordered it to be rebuilt “brick by brick”.

The Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, west London, was the only building in its neighborhood to survive the WWII Nazi blitz, and will be one of thousands of pubs across Britain that will open their doors on Monday as the country lifts a coronavirus. restrictions.

The Carlton Tavern was demolished without permission in 2015 by an Israeli development company CTLX LTD, which intended to build a building on the site.

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The demolition of the historic pub – first built in the 1860s, destroyed in World War I by a German Zeppelin bomb, then rebuilt in the 1920s – sparked an uproar and a petition in the local council.

The Carlton Tavern in West London after its illegal demolition by an Israeli company in 2015 (Screenshot / YouTube)

The demolition took place just two days before Historic England recommended that the pub receive Grade II listed status.

Westminster City Council asked CTLX to rebuild the pub “brick by brick”. The company refused and appealed, but local authorities upheld the order.

CLTX is a relatively unknown company with only one publicly traded director, Tel Aviv attorney Ori Calif, according to the Ha’aretz daily.

The reopening was delayed by several successive lockdowns against coronaviruses. The new owners had originally planned to reopen in May, but when the UK government announced the pubs could open on April 12, they rushed to prepare.

The rebuilt Carlton Tavern (Screenshot / YouTube)

“Since it was announced, it’s gone crazy. We’re full for the next two weeks and our website isn’t even up yet, ”Tom Rees told the Daily Mail.

“We’re going to have to sacrifice a few things like interior furniture that we were hoping to have ready for the opening which will hopefully be complete when we can attract customers inside,” he said.

Parts of the new bar, fireplace and ramp were salvaged from the rubble of the pub, giving it “character and charm,” he told the newspaper.

Rees added, “This is a great business opportunity. We love this romantic idea of ​​bringing this pub back. There aren’t a lot of great local pubs here where you want to sit and have a really good Sunday roast.

In addition to the reopening of pubs, millions of people in Britain will have their first chance in months to cut their hair, shop relaxed and eat out on Monday, as the government takes the next step in its roadmap for lifting the lockdown.

Nationwide restrictions have been in place in England since early January, and similar rules in other parts of the UK, to suppress an increase in coronavirus infections that swept through the country late last year , linked to a new, more transmissible variant first identified in the south-east of England. .

Britain has experienced the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with more than 127,000 confirmed deaths.

Infections, hospitalizations and deaths have all declined thanks to the lockdown and a mass vaccination program that has given at least one dose to more than 60% of the adult population.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson and epidemiologists urged caution, saying many people are not vaccinated and relaxing social distancing rules or allowing holidays abroad this summer could lead to a further rise in infections.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference in response to the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), inside 10 Downing Street, London, December 19, 2020 (Credit : Toby Melville / Pool Photo via AP)

“The situation in the UK is becoming clear and stabilizing, but people need to remember this is not the case elsewhere,” said Peter Horby, who chairs the government advisory group on new and emerging respiratory threats. “The pandemic is still raging around the world.

“And many countries in Europe even continue to see race case numbers or have to reintroduce lockouts. So it’s very difficult to predict what will happen in the next few months, ”he told Times Radio.

On Monday, non-essential stores will be allowed to reopen, as well as hair salons, gyms and outdoor service in pubs and restaurants.

The Prime Minister had promised to visit a pub for a pint to mark the occasion, but postponed the festive drink on Friday after the death of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

Drinks and indoor meals will not be permitted until May 17 at the earliest, and theaters, cinemas, nightclubs and most other venues remain closed, while indoor socialization is strictly limited and holidays abroad remain prohibited.

This easing is good news for retail and hospitality businesses, which have suffered several periods of lockdown over the past year. But this is far from the status quo; the British Beer and Pub Association estimates that only 40% of pubs in England have the space to reopen for outside service.

The rules apply in England. The rest of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – are following their own broadly similar plans.

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