The Alliance! Gang of four team up to take over pub

Former landlord departed after 22 years

Monday, 14th March — By Harry Taylor

mungos Image 2022-03-14 at 12.59.17 (3)

Ben Robson, Ed Robson, Adam Gostyn and Scott Soteriou are getting the bar ready

FOUR publicans from Hampstead will take over a much-loved West Hampstead pub, following the departure of its landlord after more than 22 years.

Ben and Ed Robson, Adam Gostyn and Scott Soteriou will run The Alliance in Mill Lane.

They are long-term landlords in Camden, running the Duke of Hamilton since 2018. They also have the Clifton in Maida Vale, and once managed the Horseshoe in Hampstead.

Long-term landlord Michael Keating departed a few weeks ago.

The pub, which is listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), was put for sale by owner Mark Reynolds in December.

Work is underway inside, and the old The Alliance sign outside has been taken down as the venue gets a facelift.

Mr Gostyn said: “The time was right for us, it’s a neighbourhood pub which is the type of thing we do very well and there’s quite a lot of demand for it.

“It’s similar – you’ve got young families, established families, neighbourhood community groups and regulars who can all come in.”

He added: “People who have been in our other pubs will know what we do. It’s good food, good beer and nice surroundings.

“I don’t think you can run a wet-led beer-only pub in the same way any more.”

The Alliance and Mr Reynolds had an application turned down last year to build two flats in the pub, which would have seen the basement turned into a function room for the community.

“It would have helped keep the pub afloat, and because of the ACV we weren’t able to do it,” said Mr Reynolds.

“It would have brought in money. It’s a terrible shame what happened.”

The new team at the Alliance already have plans for the basement, with ideas being kicked around including using hydroponics to grow herbs which can be used in the pub’s meals, a microbrewery or even a soft play area.

“Michael Keating was a good landlord,” said Mr Gostyn.

“We’ve seen a lot of pubs, it was clear that this was really well run. We know how well people liked him, and like the Alliance.

“We’ve already had people coming in to the Clifton to scope us out and see what our pubs are like.”

Mr Keating said: “I can’t comment on why I left the pub. I can’t talk about it.

“But it was difficult leaving the pub, there was a lot of emotion. A lot of my life was spent there.”

He added: “I had fantastic, lovely customers, and the community were outstanding. I loved every day I was there, and it will be a difficult show to follow.”

The Alliance is due to reopen in just over a fortnight, with a provisional date set for March 24.

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