A POPULAR riverside pub has unexpectedly closed its doors just before Christmas.
The New Queen Inn, between Sopley and Ringwood on the B334, which was renowned for its traditional Sunday lunches and flagstone floors, is closed and up for sale.
A notice on the pub’s website says: “Sadly The New Queen Inn is now closed. Lorraine and Will thank all the loyal customers and staff who have been so supportive over the last three years and wish them well for the future.”
On the market through Winchester-based agents Christie & Co, the freehouse has 140 covers and a historic net turnover of more than half-a-million pounds.
Details advertised on property website Rightmove say the leasehold property includes two-bedroom owner’s accommodation, a fully-equipped commercial kitchen, boiler room, beer cellar, fridge freezer, toilets and ancillary storage areas. Large outside grounds overlook the River Avon and there is a children’s play area.
The establishment is described as: “A substantial, detached, two-storey property with colour elevations, set in its own grounds with the River Avon to the rear of the property and a large adjacent car park.”
The description goes on to say: “The previous tenants owned and operated the pub as a destination food-led free house since 2016, during which time they continued the pub’s recent history of success. The business had a robust trade, but could have benefitted from a reduction in staff costs in order to increase the profit margin.”
Richard Wood, senior business agent at Christie & Co, told the A&T: “We have been instructed to sell the leasehold interest of the pub and are currently in the process of finding a new tenant.
“We have already received strong interest and hope to have a new operator in the pub as soon as possible.”
Also closed recently, and boarded up, is Ye Olde Starre Inne at Purewell, Christchurch, which received a zero food rating from inspectors in March. According to Companies House, Ye Olde Starre Inne Ltd was dissolved on 30th October via compulsory strike-off.
A similar notice had been served on the pub in March after food inspectors found a semi-frozen slug on top of a packet of raw chicken, and Red Leicester cheese more than a year past its sell-by date. Decomposed mushrooms that had liquefied and Greek yoghurt six months out of date were also discovered.
Well-known for its all-you-can-eat Sunday carvery, the establishment was identified as having a high potential of contamination by harmful bacteria such as E.coli.
But at the time landlady Chloe Frost said no out-of-date food had been served to customers and the pub’s records and management had been updated – and that closure notice was suspended in May after an objection was lodged against it.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows Christchurch has now lost 20 per cent of its pubs, including the Goose and Timber Sports Bar, The Fairmile, The Catherine Wheel, The Eight Bells, The Fountain, The Golfer’s Arms, The New Inn, The New Lodge and The Royalty Inn.