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Kenley Hotel is 'granted licence' and set to reopen

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THE Kenley Hotel looks likely to reopen within a month, as its owner claims a new licence application will be accepted.

The pub closed down on February 22, amid fears it had succumbed to the recession.

However, the Advertiser discovered the council had ordered the pub to shut because landlord Chris O'Reilly had closed down the company that held the licence the year before.

However, this week it emerged that a new licence application has been submitted to Croydon Council and will be accepted, according to a council officer, after no representations were received against it.

Star Pubs & Bars, the pub's owners, are now the company applicants on the new licence application.

A company spokesman said: "We applied for a licence and are very happy that it will be accepted. We have a number of things to do and hope to reopen the pub in three to four weeks."

The spokesman refused to confirm the identity of the pub's new landlord, but hinted at continued involvement for Mr O' Reilly, adding: "Chris and Aimee O'Reilly are independent businesspeople.

"He is the leaseholder and she is the designated premises supervisor, so they will be working together."

The Advertiser has made several attempts to contact Mr O' Reilly, but has received no answer at the hotel.

Chris Stanley, acting chairman of the Kenley and District Residents' Association, is pleased the village pub is reopening, but added: "The landlord, whoever that turns out to be, needs to work out how to get punters through the door. It's an established feature of the community and it would be better if people had more involvement with it."

Kenley councillor Steve O'Connell, who occasionally uses the pub, agreed that the future of the Kenley Hotel lay in it becoming a community hub.

He said: "It needs to be open all day and offer teas and coffees and lunch, as well as good ale in the evenings. We need a prosperous shopping parade in Kenley and having a good pub helps a lot."

The Advertiser previously reported how public records showed Mr O'Reilly had voluntarily struck off Hotelier Inn Ltd from the Companies Register in April last year.

Kenley Hotel is 'granted licence' and set to reopen


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