Further doubts over future of Berkeley Hotel as managers 'asked to leave'

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 18 Mar 2019

Further doubt has been cast over the future of Scunthorpe's iconic Berkeley Hotel.

The pub, on Berkeley Circle, closed suddenly in January but reopened around three weeks later, with relief managers Tracey and James Walker placed in charge.

But now it has emerged that they have been asked by the Samuel Smith Brewery, which owns the pub, to leave by the end of this month and it has been claimed nobody has been lined up to replace them.

A source close to the pub said: "They were approached by Samuel Smiths to take the pub a couple of weeks ago - then on Thursday night, they got a call saying they wouldn't be needed anymore. They were told their last day would be Sunday, March 31.

"When they asked who would run it now, the brewery said no one."

The pub was built in 1940 and is popular with Scunthorpe United fans on matchdays at nearby Glanford Park.

The Berkeley Hotel in Scunthorpe reopened on February 16 following a shock closure in January (Image: David Haber/scunthorpelive)

Locals were left shocked when it suddenly shut, with the locks changed and only a handwritten sign on the front door reading simply "Closed" informing drinkers that the pub, run by the Samuel Smith Brewery, was no longer trading.

The doors reopened on Saturday, February 16 with Tracey and James said to be taking over the pub as relief managers while a permanent manager was found, although question marks remained over its long-term future.

The source said he was disappointed in how Tracey and James have been treated since they took over, saying: "Locals have come back and the atmosphere has really improved. There's no reason for them to be asked to leave.

"As relief managers, they are only contracted for 48 hours a week but they have been putting in over 100 every single week. They have been working all of the hours that God sends.

"They even cleaned the hotel after it was left in a disgusting mess. They have shown great commitment and this is how they have been treated."

It remains unclear how long the doors at the Berkeley Hotel will be staying open for (Image: David Haber/scunthorpelive)

The Samuel Smith Brewery has declined to comment on the future of the pub and the managers have said they are also unable to speak about it.

The Berkeley Hotel is a Grade II listed building thanks to its architecture, art deco interior and the lack of alternations made over the years. It is named after Sir Berkeley Sheffield, the first charter mayor of Scunthorpe.

No explanation was given for the abrupt closure in january, although accounts of 'strange experiences' at the pub did come to light in the form of a TripAdvisor review. A customer saw servers try to persuade people to eat elsewhere and saw others inexplicably turned away.

After three weeks of closure, it was announced that the relief managers had been secured and the pub would reopen once more.

However, customers may have just two weeks left to enjoy the pub if its future is not resolved.

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