The owners of Camberwell’s Crooked Well are appealing for punters’ help to save their gastro pub after being hit hard by lockdown, the 10pm curfew, and fears of a rent rise next year.
A fundraiser, through the Mayor of London’s ‘pay it forward’ scheme, aims to raise £20,000 by the end of next week to ‘COVID-proof’ their business.
Donations will help extend and improve the kitchen area so it has more space for staff, buy outdoor heaters, replace outdoor furniture, and look at putting in screens between tables for customer safety.
The funds will also help pay for a solicitor to help negotiate with their landlord after being given advanced notice of a ‘rent review’ in January 2021 – and no rent break even when closed during the mandated lockdown.
Explaining on their fundraising page, the pub’s managers Jen Aries, Matt Green-Armytage and Hector Skinner, explain: “We have been charged full rent throughout the whole of Lockdown, even during total closure, and our landlord has indicated a further increase in rent early next year. A fair rent will be crucial to the survival of The Crooked Well.”
The pub, which was set up nearly a decade ago by the trio has had to find new ways to adapt to social distancing.
Two function rooms are now redundant– reducing revenue by a third. Across the pub, its capacity has been cut by 20 per cent.
Matt described uncertainty over the government’s next move as a ‘huge concern’.
“The 10pm curfew has had an immediate impact with the reduction of late night drinkers leaving much earlier,” he told the News.
“Restaurant bookings have been impacted as we seem to have lost the 9pm sitting as customers are not wanting to be rushed out.”