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Final whistle for the George, Holloway pub loved by Arsenal fans

Landlord says team’s recent poor performances have hit takings

27 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Landlord Peter Mara behind the bar at The George in Holloway

A POPULAR pub for Arsenal matchday drinks is closing after nearly 30 years in business as the landlord says the running costs have become too high.

The George, in Holloway, is a fans’ favourite for those hoping to catch Gunners games but landlord Peter Mara said he will be pulling his last pint at the end of May.

“The way things are going it’s extremely hard to keep pubs going. My lease is up and people aren’t using pubs as much anymore,” said Mr Mara.

He said the cost of showing sports in the pub, in Eden Grove, was topping £16,000 a year with other runnings costs greatly increasing every year.

“We’ve had so many good memories here. We’ve had FA Cup finals and have had great Europa Cup nights with the community. I want to thank them for the extremely loyal support,” said Mr Mara.

The 50-year-old, who commutes from Chingford every day, has worked in pubs since he was 15 years old. He said “I don’t really know what I’m going to do next. I’m going to take a year off.”

Fans of the pub, which will close at the end of May, say it’s an ‘institution’

He said Arsenal’s recent poor performances had also led to a decline in footfall.

“They haven’t been playing too well and a lot of pubs and small businesses in Islington have seen a direct impact. Also, they’ve had early kick-offs and we’re taking half the money because of that,” he said.

Mr Mara said he hoped The George would remain and that there had been a pub on site for around 100 years.

“After I told people we’re closing, they’ve been using words like ‘institution’. It’s very true and I was part of that for a long time. I would hope it reopens one day. It would be a huge loss if not,” he said.

Hundreds have taken to social media after hearing about the pub’s closure. One fan of the George wrote on its Facebook page: “Best pub in north London will be sorely missed by many of us. Will make sure we send the pub off in style.”

Another wrote: “Sad to see such a great pub going. Had many great evenings there when living in London, so thanks for the memories. Sad to see many great venues around Holloway Road closing over the last few years.”

A spokeswoman for the freehold owners of the pub, Wellington Pub Company PLC, whose headquarters is in Westminster, said she did not know what would be happening to the building at the current time.

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