Popular Lincoln bar closes citing lease disagreements

A popular Lincoln bar, The Original Bierkeller, has closed its doors this week after it was unable to secure a new lease with Lincolnshire Co-op.

The well-known Bavarian-inspired bar announced in a statement last night on social media that they were unable to secure a lease with landlords Lincolnshire Co-op despite 12 months of negotiations, and are now looking for a new home.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s lease for the building on Silver Street was with former tenants, JD Wetherspoons PLC, who sublet it to the Harewood Group Ltd, trading as Bierkeller.

JD Wetherspoon PLC brought the tenancy to an end in October 2020, giving the Lincolnshire Co-op and Harewood Group the opportunity to create a new lease, but due to contractual and compliance matters, it was unable to be negotiated in the time available.

The owner of Original Bierkeller Lincoln said: “We are very sad to announce that the Original Bierkeller in Lincoln has closed and will not reopen, we are seeking a new home.

“This was a decision forced on us by our landlord the Lincolnshire Co op; who, after 12 months of negotiations for a new lease and resulting in us spending over £35k in preparations (money we could ill afford as we have been closed since March due to government covid restrictions), decided at the last minute that they didn’t want to complete the new lease after all.

“As a result we had only 3 working days to close down, make remaining staff redundant and remove our fixtures and fittings to store.”

“The Original Bierkeller has been a successful and well loved part of the nighttime economy in the city and we are devastated by the closure and its impact on the team and our customers who we would like to thank for all of their love and support.”

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Co-op said: “In the months leading up to October, we worked hard to try and reach an agreement with the owners of Bierkeller to take on a new lease with us directly.

“We know how popular the venue was for local people and we want to keep our properties occupied.”

“However, despite our best efforts we couldn’t overcome some contractual and compliance matters prior to the JD Wetherspoons lease expiring and so unfortunately, we weren’t able to conclude matters in the time available.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our team have been talking to tenants individually so we can understand their situation.

“We have offered a wide range of support including rent concessions, payment plans and practical help.”