Landlord’s fury as Griffin up for sale

The Griffin Hotel in Standishgate
The Griffin Hotel in Standishgate

A Wigan landlord has vented his frustration at being told his pub would be put up for sale by its owners.

Ian Williams was suddenly informed earlier this week by The Griffin Hotel’s owners, Admiral Taverns, that the Standishgate pub would be put on the market.

An earlier post on The Griffin Hotel’s Facebook page revealed: “Sorry to have to inform you that the owners of the property have today put in on the market.”

Mr Williams added that Admiral Taverns plans to sell The Griffin with an eye on turning the building into apartments.

“I’m really quite angry,” he said.

“It’s a major loss to our heritage in Wigan. People go out of their way to come here.

“I’ve emailed all our councillors and our MP (Lisa Nandy) to try and get the property accredited as an asset of community value.

“The Griffin has never really cost them anything to run, but they’re closing it. It’s kind of annoying.”

He claimed that bosses at Admiral Taverns were unwilling to negotiate and said “their decision was final.”

Admiral Tavens, which was named Pub Company of the Year 2016 by the Publican Morning Advertiser, were unreachable for comment at the time of publication.

Mr Williams took over the running of the pub in 2013 and came with many big plans, including restoring the Griffin as a hotel as well as a watering hole.

An historic building, its most famous landlord was Billy Boston whose late daughter Angela Dainty also ran it for a time.

But it also had periods of closure before its latest rescue by Mr Williams.

He was keen to retain the rugby league links with RL memorabilia but, with it being a free house, also introduced less familiar tipples.

And he even went to the trouble of recreating a Bavarian mountain scene at the back for a German Oktoberfest-type event last autumn at which Mr Boston was a VIP guest and pulled the first 
pint.

The 100-year-old red-brick building is in a similar architectural style to The Famous Pagefield hotel in Springfield which closed several years ago and has been the subject of a planning application to turn it into flats.

l Pub boss warning, Business, page 13