Thu, 16 Feb 2017
IT’S official – Newbury town centre’s Prohibition bar restaurant and nightspot has gone for good.
Owner Jamie Allen said Kennet Centre management had activated a clause in his lease which allowed it to give him notice to quit if it wanted to redevelop.
He said: “I’m gutted. I put everything into Prohibition.
“They say they want mine, plus another two units behind, for a big redevelopment.”
The relationship between the parties has reportedly soured, with bailiffs being involved.
Difficulties with the lease caused financial problems from the proposed launch date in 2015, said Mr Allen, who acknowledged at the time: “Being a tiny independent competing with the chains is difficult.”
The venture finally opened in February 2016 after a change in ownership at the Kennet Shopping centre reportedly caused more delays.
Mr Allen still runs the successful Hermitage pub The Fox, and, despite the setback of losing Prohibition, he has plans for the future.
He said: “I’m planning to launch an Asian fast food venture in Newbury town centre, starting with just a van and two woks.
“It would be me and my executive chef.
“The idea is that you choose your meat, then a sauce and a selection of veg. It would be ready within three minutes.”
He added: “It’s a bit different from everything else out there and we could hire ourselves out for private parties, festivals and so on.”
Fans of Prohibition took to social media to express frustration at the venture’s lack of longevity.
Mr Allen said: “We’re gutted, but we’d like to thank all our clientele for their past custom.”
Senior staff at the Kennet Shopping centre were said to be in an all-day management meeting yesterday (Wednesday) and had not responded to requests for a comment.