Grapes Hotel closes
A PUB that welcomed hundreds of revellers to a Jamaican independence day party just last month, has closed its doors with the owners preparing to move on.
The family running the Grapes Hotel has ceased trading despite the well-attended celebration organised by Swindon 105.5 DJ MC Ranks.
The pub, which has shut down previously, will be passed back to Enterprise Inns brewery.
Ann-Marie Mortimer, who ran the Grapes with her family, said: “It was a difficult decision.
“It just wasn’t working as a pub, it wasn’t making enough money and there was no way we could keep going without a couple of thousand of pounds at least.
“We also had complaints from neighbours about the noise and the council were threatening to take away the licence.
“The reggae nights were doing well but there are a lot of other pubs around here and we weren’t getting enough trade the rest of the time.
“We have a meeting with the brewery on Monday and I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the pub after that. We will miss all our regulars.”
The Jamaican carnival took place last month and featured West Indian food, music, activities for children and a display from the Hotsteppers Dance School.
MC Ranks, who has moved to new nights at the Tap and Barrel in Manchester Road and Moon-rakers in Stratton St Margaret, said: “The reggae nights were doing well and the carnival was so busy the bar sold out.
“It was a good turnout. But it was only once a month and I don’t think they were doing too well the rest of the time.
“They asked me to play weekly but I couldn’t fit it in with my day job and my other nights.”
The Grapes, in Faringdon Road, has shut down before and already featured on an internet database of Swindon’s ‘lost pubs’ at www.closedpubs.co.uk.
The Mortimer family took over eight months ago and added reggae and drum and bass nights, which used a small concert hall and a garden area.
A council spokesman said a licensing hearing for the Grapes was due on October 5.
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