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More Islington pubs and clubs ask for lockdown help

Venues including Slim Jim’s and The Smyth Arms – which opened less than a year ago – miss out on rescue packages

12 June, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Adam Breeze performing at Slim Jim’s Liquor Store

A PUB is struggling to raise enough money to survive the coronavirus crisis, just nine months after opening its doors for the first time.

The Smyth Arms in Upper Holloway needs to find £10,000 after falling through the cracks in government support.

The money will be used to pay its bills and fund its reopening costs once pubs are given the go-ahead to reopen.

A spokesman for the pub said the virus had been “devastating” for the business.

“Adhering to government guidelines we closed our doors,” they added.

“Whilst we have worked to keep in touch with our community and support where we can, our income and our entire world has been put on hold, to help stop the spread of this virus and keep our neighbourhood safe.”

So far the Smyth Arms has raised just under half of the amount needed. The building in Marlborough Road was previously the Prince Alfred pub.

The Smyth Arms

It is joined in its quest for funds by Upper Street live music venue Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, which is also looking to raise £10,000.

The venue said it had put on many of its shows for free in the past.

A spokesman said the money was needed to ensure the venue would still be around in six months.

“Our venue faces closure because of the devastating impact the Covid-19 crisis is having across the wider economy, and on the hospitality sector in particular,” they said.

“Even when the lockdown ends, bars and venues will be forced to operate under strict ‘social distancing’ rules, perhaps operating at only 20 to 25 per cent of capacity, which is simply uneconomical for the majority of businesses.”

As well as donations, Slim Jim’s is accepting money in exchange for “pay it forward” vouchers.

“Donations will be used to pay rent, bills and other operating costs, which still need to be paid whilst we are closed and not earning any revenue, as well as provide additional financial support to our currently furloughed staff,” added the spokesman.

“If we hit our target, and we can prevent the closure of our venue, everything above our target will be donated to the Music Venue Trust GMV Crisis Fund to help protect other venues just like ours, right across the country.”

Both fund-raisers can be found online by searching the venue’s name.

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