Chelsea pub favoured by Bob Marley to reopen its doors after £3.9m deal clears squatters


A 300-year-old pub is to reopen two years after it was boarded up and squatters took it over, Mark Blunden reports in this article for London’s Evening Standard.

The Cross Keys in Chelsea, between King’s Road and Cheyne Walk, opened in 1708 and served its last pint in 2012. Former patrons include Agatha Christie, Dylan Thomas, Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones.

Andrew Bourne, the pub’s last owner, boarded it up after it lost money despite hiring a Michelin-starred chef. Thousands of people signed a petition to save it and a Twitter appeal was supported by Piers Morgan and Zac Goldsmith MP. After it closed, squatters moved in who were later evicted with a court order.

Today, it was announced that the sale of the freehold had been completed through Colliers International for £3.9 million to Parsons Green Land which plans to “refurbish and reinstate” the pub and turn the upper floors into accommodation.

Famous patron: Dylan Thomas also favoured the pub in Chelsea

Tom Ainsleigh Jones, director of Parsons Green Land, said: “It will 100 per cent reopen as a pub, we’re keen to return it to the community. We have a number of respected local pub owners who we want to take over the ground and lower floors.”

The move was welcomed by the Campaign for Real Ale, and chief executive Mike Benner said: “Pubs are an essential part of Britain’s cultural heritage and it is clear from the support of the surrounding community how important it is the Cross Keys remains a pub in the future.”

The new owners will avoid change-of-use permit problems, which killed off an application by Mr Bourne to Kensington and Chelsea council.

He wanted to convert the building into a five-bedroom home, worth an estimated £10 million, with a swimming pool, sauna and cinema room.

For the original report go to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s