One of the last surviving downtown pubs for sale
The Prince of Wales in Strood High Street is on the market for £ 650,000 and, despite the end of the licensing business, it is hoped he can still remain an alcoholic.
Peter and Kathleen Gillard, now both 85, and arguably Medway’s oldest licensees, have finally stepped back in time after 33 years.
Outside of their ages, Covid ended the business which closed for a year during lockdown. In its heyday, it made a roaring trade, beating fierce competition from more than 20 hostels in the city.
By day, he served lunches for the hundreds of council staff who were based in the old riverside neighborhoods nearby. At night it was a popular concert hall with rock n ‘roll bands and music from the 50s.
Indeed, it is always open on Friday and Saturday evenings so that loyal customers can boogey the night away.
Peter, a father of four, laid off his artistic work for the Daily Mirror and bought the High Street pub for £ 200,000.
“People come to Hastings for our rock ‘n’ roll parties …”
He said: “We moved from London and had never been to Medway before. We bought it because Kathleen is Irish and it was an Irish pub.”
Grandpa Peter said it was “run down and dirty” and the couple renovated it, building a business and living in an upstairs apartment.
He said: “We have our regulars, some of them have been coming here from the start. People come as far as Hastings for our rock ‘n’ roll nights.”
Peter remembers many of the changes that took place in the city over the course of three decades, including the closure of the city’s pubs.
A member of the Medway Licensed Victuallers’ Association, he said: “The British pub is an institution, so I hope it will remain a pub.
“There is a lot going on for Strood, it’s on the move and there are more stores than Rochester.”
Now the couple are looking forward to their retirement, hopefully in warmer climates.
The Only Fools and Horses fan said, “I want to sit in the sun with a Pina Colada watching Delboy.”
Adam Miles, of the Acorn Group, said there has been interest from potential buyers since it entered the books six weeks ago.
He said: “It would work like a pub, but maybe not the traditional wet pub. Maybe something a little quirky like a cocktail bar or a food court.”
Mr Miles added: “It’s on the wrong side of Rochester Bridge, but its proximity to Rochester helps. There is also a lot of redevelopment going on at Strood and it has good links to London and the motorway.”
Mr Miles said the proposed riverside development on Strood’s Esplanade would also be an attraction.
The Prince of Wales has a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, bathroom and reception room.
At the rear, there is five bedroom accommodation for several occupants with separate entrance, shared kitchen, bathroom and toilet. There is a building permit for two additional apartments.
The property is not listed or in a conservation area which adds additional flexibility for redevelopment.
Acorn recently opened a branch in Strood and Rainham.
For more information call 0208 315 544