IT’S all change for a string of pubs in South Tyneside.
The Enterprise pub chain is making available the tenancy of The Grey Hen in Temple Park Road, South Shields.
But a spokeswoman for the watering hole said the jobs of all staff are safe despite the move.
“It’s business as usual,” she added.
Enterprise also has two other tenancies up for grabs – The Clock in Victoria Road East, Hebburn, at a rent of £21,000 a year, and The Simonside Arms in Newcastle Road, South Shields – at £19,000 rent for the year.
The company had built up huge debts to grow its business through acquisition, but is now selling off some of its 5,500 pubs to cut its borrowings.
Meanwhile, The Riverside pub, on the corner of the historic Mill Dam, South Shields, is set for a conversion. The outlet had a guide price of £120,000 when it was sold through specialist property adviser Christie and Co recently.
Now it has emerged that work is ongoing for its conversion into a Spanish tapas bar.
Christie’s licensed sector specialist, Mark Worley, said: “The Riverside is being retained for licensed use, and has been purchased by a very experienced local operator who is expanding her portfolio.
“We wish her well in this venture, which we are sure will be good news for locals.”
The Riverside has had a chequered history in recent years, as a series of landlords have come and gone.
It was only in June of last year that Pam Guthrie took over at the popular pub, after former licensees Val and Stephen Simpson had departed.
They left after criticising brewery Greene King over the amount they were charging for rents and beer – a claim the brewery denied.
At the time Mrs Guthrie, 45, said she wanted to put the bad feeling in the past, and was looking to restore the pub’s fortunes.
She appealed to former regulars to “give us another chance”.
The last few years has proved tough for the licensed trade in the borough. Earlier this week the Gazette revealed that the West Park pub, in Stanhope Road, South Shields, is set to be converted into a Sainsbury’s Local outlet.