Wetherspoons might now be an established household name loved by drinkers looking for a cheap pint, but the British pub chain may well have never come into existence were it not for Haringey’s booming housing market. Founder Tim Martin has revealed to MyLondon that he got the funds to buy the first pub, on Colney Hatch Lane, in Muswell Hill, with profits from the sale of his two-bed flat in the area.
“I bought my first flat in Wood Green in 1978 for £12,000, a two-bedroom flat [that was] brand new,” he told MyLondon , “I sold it for £21,000 a year later to buy the first pub, I made enough for the deposit [on the boozer]. I got lucky with the housing market, [I think] a lot of people who start a business would say that.”
The pub chain’s boss said he still had a soft spot for the area in North London, especially its drinking establishments.“I know Lordship Lane, West Green Road, Bruce Grove [and] South Tottenham pretty well. I was around there for the best part of 15-20 years when I first moved to London,” he said.
READ MORE: Let me turn Buckingham Palace into a Wetherspoons’ says pub chain boss Tim Martin
(Image: Doctor Nicholas)
Haringey was also the place where Wetherspoons began to expand its operations in the 1980s. At the time the local council was renowned for its left-wing politics and was often described as being part of the ‘loony left’ in right-wing media outlets.
“Wetherspoons started most of its early pubs were in the London Borough of Haringey, which at the time was regarded as the loony left, but they were very friendly to us and we opened a lot of pubs there,” Mr Martin explained.
Like many areas of London, Haringey has lost many of its pubs in the last two decades. Exclusive data analysed by MyLondon, revealed there were nearly a third fewer pubs in the borough compared with the year 2000 . Although with 16 boozers per square mile it’s better served than many areas in the capital.
Mr Martin said that Wetherspoons has fewer pubs in the borough than it once did, as the chain moved to a strategy of having larger venues. “We built a few small pubs dotted around the borough before we realised having bigger pubs worked better for us,” he added.
The Wetherspoons boss also told would like to turn Buckingham Palace into a Wetherspoons as the Queen is moving out and has explained why the chain has made changes to its menu.
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