A live music pub in Birmingham threatened with demolition in recent years will pour pints again when it reopens later this month.
The Flapper, in Kingston Row near Brindleyplace, has announced it will welcome customers back from July 21 after being closed since January last year – a move which at the time appeared permanent.
Baskerville Wharf, the building’s owner since 2010, has been planning to develop new canalside apartments in place of the 52-year-old pub but a concerted campaign from supporters eventually saw the application rejected by councillors.
Now Samantha Campbell-Whyte, who has run the venue since 2007, said she was looking forward to a new chapter in the venue’s history while Baskerville Wharf told BusinessLive it was pleased to see the pub reopen but discussions about its long-term future continued.
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“When The Flapper closed her doors in January 2020 everyone thought that was it, that the venue would never open again,” she said.
“I’m thrilled to say that’s not the case. The resurrection of The Flapper is so important for independent bars and grass-root music venues as it shows that not all sites earmarked for demolition actually go ahead.
“Since The Flapper was saved from demolition, we’ve been in talks with the landlord about her future.
“The pandemic hit and the brakes were applied, it was touch and go for a while, but after months of much-needed renovations and conversations, we are looking to re-open.”
Renovation work ahead of its relaunch has included repairs to the roof, a revamp of the interior and extra furniture and lighting in the beer garden.
Live events in its gig room are expected to return by October, subject to restrictions.
The project was later rejected by Birmingham City Council following intense local opposition to the proposals.
“The building has faced threats of demolition on and off for ten years and our main objective now is to really promote that the venue is back for good and the threat has gone,” Mrs Campbell-Whyte added.
A statement from Baskerville Wharf said: “As landlord of The Flapper, Baskerville Wharf is delighted the pub will once again open its doors to the public.
“Throughout the ten-year span of its ownership, it has always been upfront with the original redevelopment plans which were initially backed by the council.
“However, it has also always been supportive of its tenant and listened to the level of support for the venue and the important contribution it makes to the city’s live music culture.
“While covid has been a major setback, it has worked hard to support the Whyte family during this time and has now agreed a new, short-term lease while discussions about the long-term future continue.”