|Moving times for the Railway Tavern|
Friday 2 May sees the Railway Tavern on Forest Lane close its doors for the last time. The pub has been bought by a small pub chain, called Antic, who have 24 pubs in the London area, including the Red Lion in Leytonstone.
|Some of the pubs in the Antic chain|
Judging by the way the company has transformed that pub, Forest Gate residents are in for a treat. Since they took over the Red Lion, the pub has won awards for: E11 Best New Business, 2012; Camra East London Pub of the Year, 2012; and Camra City and East London Pub of the Year 2012.
|Red Lion, Leytonstone, transformed by Antic|
Antic has told our intrepid reporter, Lloyd Jeans, that the completion of the take-over is due any day, when they will get the keys. They hope to start a major refit pretty soon, and it certainly needs it, as the photos of Railway, taken last week, show. "We shall try and keep the pub closed for the shortest possible period and will no doubt look to reopen the front bar at the earliest opportunity, with the revised loos and rear area to follow soon thereafter", said the company's spokesman.
They'll be looking to open the front bar and toilets first, before moving on to refurb the back function room. They don't yet have a manager, but intend to relaunch the pub, probably at the end of the summer, as the Forest Tavern, where their objective is "delivering a decent boozer for the good folk of Forest Gate".
Judging by what is on offer at the Red Lion, the pub will certainly provide a major uplift for local facilities. That Leytonstone house currently has ten hand pumps, featuring the best of local, regional and micro-breweries. Their website says, in words that almost whet the lips, in anticipation: "The pub regularly hosts ale and cider festivals, DJs and parties and comes into its own on a Sunday, with newspapers, board games, Bloody Marys, live music and Sunday Roasts to die for."
|Function room, Railway Tavern, Forest Lane|
|Main bar, Railway Tavern, Forest Lane|
|Time for a change at the Railway|
One slight note of caution, however, is provided by the catering trade press, which recently announced that Antic had gone into administration, although wanted to continue to operate in its 24 London pubs, while looking for a purchaser. (Catering and Hotelkeeper, 17 January 2013)