Antic restated commitment to reopen historic Leytonstone pub

It’s five years ago this week since the prospective owners of a historic east London pub restated their intent to reopen it to customers.

A popular pub chain insists it remains committed to reopening a historic Leytonstone boozer, despite delays purchasing the property.

Antic had previously announced it had acquired the Lord Rookwood, in Cann Hall Road, which has stood empty since January 2013.

However, the firm now says there have been complications in completing the buyout and cannot confirm a date for when the pub will reopen.

But, in a statement, the chain, has reaffirmed its interest in reopening the pub, claiming it is still working hard to thrash out a deal.

Antic already owns and operates two pubs in Waltham Forest- the Leyton Technical in Leyton High Road and the Red Lion in Leytonstone High Road.

A spokesman said: “We continue to work on getting this purchase finally completed and remain committed to getting this lovely old pub refurbished and reopened.

“The delay is frustrating for all concerned and we are really sorry that we still cannot provide a firm date as to when we might finally invite you all back to your local pub.

“We shall provide clarity as soon as we can and thank you for both your ongoing patience and support.”

Named after a former MP for South West Essex, the Lord Rookwood opened in 1893 and was known for hosting live music, most notably weekly gigs by the East Side Jazz Club.

The club had been based at the Tudor-style pub for more than ten years before it shut suddenly four years ago.

In the years after it shut, a campaign was created to save the Rookwood after plans were announced to convert the building into an 18-bed hostel.

More than 300 people signing a petition against the plan, with many calling for it to remain a pub and others expressing concern about a hostel being so close to schools.

Following the protests, Waltham Forest council refused to grant planning permission for the proposals in February 2015.

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