A pub in Northamptonshire has sent in proposals to North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) about changing the venue to a convenience store. The Harlequin, in Kettering, has submitted new floor plans for the building, swapping pulling pints and live music for stocking shelves on a shop floor.
Pub chain Marston, owners of The Harlequin, revealed earlier this year that 61 of its properties across the country were being put on the market to allow the group to focus on their ‘core’ sites. Among the venues up for sale were The Harlequin, in a residential area in Kettering, and the Heart of England, in Northampton.
The premises closed to trade as a public house at the start of the Covid pandemic but has since become economically unviable. It was being marketed by the commercial real estate agency Christie & Co, along with its Northampton counterpart. The public house had been up for sale since June 2022 but had received no interest.
Noel Moffitt, senior corporate director of pubs and restaurants at Christie & Co, said: “Unfortunately we only received one request for information from a fellow agent which did not go anywhere.
“All of the corporate pub operators deemed the business not to be viable and as it continued to lose money, even with vast capital investment, they could not guarantee it would encourage any custom due to the demographic and local competition.
“The only interest and offer received for the property were from a party looking at alternative use, who were the ultimate buyer.”
One side of The Harlequin will make up the new shop floor and trading area, with plans proposing to remove the raised stage and knock through the bathrooms and kitchen to maximise space on the right side of the building.
What used to be the bar area and lounge on the other side of the pub will become a storeroom and office. The exterior is to remain largely the same, apart from the addition of three disabled parking spaces off Stamford Road where the beer garden used to be.
The new owners of the Harlequin acquired the property in September of this year. The target decision date for the plans from NNC is December 21, 2023.