Up for sale: One of Camden Town’s last ‘traditional boozers’
Regulars at The Constitution say they will oppose any attempt to turn canalside pub into housing
07 November, 2019 — By Dan Carrier
ONE of Camden Town’s oldest pubs has been put up for sale – as regulars warned they will not let it be turned into flats.
The Constitution, in St Pancras Way, which overlooks the Regent’s Canal and dates from 1858, has been serving customers for 150 years and is celebrated as one of the area’s last “traditional boozers”.
It also has a cellar bar which hosts a series of popular gigs, comedy shows and club nights. Operations manager Phil Strongman, who looks after a number of sites for owners Pubs of Distinction, said the company had made a reluctant decision to put it on the market in order to concentrate on other ventures.
With two large upper floors, and in an area that has seen a boom in new homes, however, there are fears whoever buys it could seek to convert rooms above into flats.
Alex Smith, chairman of the Camley Street Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The pub is an integral part of the community here. It is very well used by a wide range of people. “I would say to anybody thinking of buying it that what we really want is it to be recognised for the tremendous value it has in our community and to make sure that it retains that function.”
While the pub has no price listed for sale, the New Journal has learned offers are expected to be around £300,000 and the new owners would also need to find a further £75,000 a year in rent to pay to the freeholder. Mr Strongman said: “The investor wants to do something else – but it will remain a pub. We hope a good company will take it on – we have had good offers from good pub companies and I can’t see it changing dramatically.”
Pubs of Distinction own several other pubs in London but most of the other bars have a greater focus on real ales and food than the Constitution. They are also selling other venues in the capital as they switch the direction of their business. “We are very keen the Constitution is sold to a buyer who wants to keep the traditional vibe,” said Mr Strongman.
The firm took on the pub four years ago and have done some work to make it more comfortable without losing selling points such as the celebrated cellar venue, beer garden and pool table.
Mr Strongman added: “It really is a great pub, with great locals. It is a good solid business – no doubt the new owners will invest in it