Up for sale: The Asparagus pub on Falcon Road

Some time ago we reported on the opening of The London & South Western, Wetherspoons’a newest pub, at the western end of Lavender Hill. It was notable that opening the new pub left Wetherspoon’s with two pubs within a short walk, at either end of the Falcon Road. We wondered about the future of their existing pub, The Aparagus: while both seem quite busy and profitable, the new pub was more central and more typical of the city centre pubs the company has increasingly been developing. Sure enough, about two years later, the Asparagus is for sale, as one of about 40 pubs on the market.

Exactly what is being sold is a little complicated. Wetherspoons are selling the pub as a going concern, including midnight / 1am licenses, as well as the freehold of the building, including full ownership of the whole of the ground floor, part of the first floor that houses the WCs, and the basement that houses the beer cellar, manager’s office, staff room and stores. It adds up to a sizeable area at over 6,000 square feet, and also comes with the outside terrace that catches the sun on the south side of the building.

But the rest of the first floor and the second floor have previously been sold off to someone else on a long lease, and are in use as offices. This restricts what can be done with the building, and means it’s unlikely to be of interest to anyone looking to quickly redevelop the whole site, which might otherwise be the most likely outcome given several rather taller developments of flats have recently gone up in the area. This complexity on the property does increase the likelihood that a new owner will carry on running it as a pub, rather than being focussed on building something much taller on the site. The list of companies looking to take on new large pubs isn’t an especially long one right now, but there are people out there opening pubs, as we saw with the Queens Arms.

The sale particulars don’t say much about the pub’s trading performance (and we can safely assume that it is not one of the most profitable sites for the current owners or Wetherspoon would not be seeking to offload it) – but it’s in a busy area with both a loyal clientele and a hugely growing population, so should be able to turn a decent profit in the right hands.

But there’s inevitably a risk new owners will want to do something else with the site. With a 3,600 square foot area on the ground floor it’s precisely the right size for a small supermarket, and there have long been plans to redevelop the building a few doors down that currently houses Tesco – maybe they might seize the opportunity to relocate. There’s also a seemingly insatiable appetite for new gyms, and while the prominent corner site may be a bit too expensive for a gym, it’s still a possibility. But we’d be sad to lose another pub. In the end, only time will tell. The agents suggest that prospective buyers make ‘discreet customer visits in the first instance’ – so keep an eye out for new customers having look about! It’s always an unsettling time for the staff when the business is for sale, but fingers crossed the pub will find an enthusiastic new owner.

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1 Response to Up for sale: The Asparagus pub on Falcon Road

  1. J D says:

    Unfortunately I think the queens arms has shut again. It had a sad note in the window that said “sorry, we tried”

    Like

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