A LANDLORD who declared “the trade is knackered” is finally facing the prospect of his historic Leeds pub shutting its doors.
Lee Brown, who has run the Middleton Arms for the past five years, says he has been told the pub has just a few weeks left before it is closed for good.
Last year, the YEP reported that the pub was given a stay of execution following a decision by planning bosses to reject plans to build a supermarket on the site.
Mr Brown then agreed to stay in charge for another year in the hope of turning its fortunes around.
But this week, he told the YEP that brewery bosses had informed him the pub would close in around two months, much to the dismay of its few remaining regulars.
Mr Brown grew up just 200 yards from the pub and had his first ever drink there.
He had pledged to try and keep the pub going as long as possible.
He said: “I was told it would close in the next couple of months.
“We tried but there’s only so much you can do. It seems to be happening to a lot of pubs all around the city.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen to the building now though.”
Mr Brown had agreed to stay in charge for another year after the supermarket plans were rejected.
He tried providing food and turning the cellar into changing rooms in the hopes of setting up football and rugby teams in a bid to get the pub back on its feet.
The pub, built opposite Middleton Park Circus, opened as a hotel in 1925.
Back then, it boasted a ballroom which was painted with murals.
Between 1930 and 1934, Catholic Mass was celebrated in the pub’s ballroom.
The pub also had its own private double tennis courts and sunken garden.
Mr Brown added: “The pub is really going to be missed.
“The regulars are upset about it and so am, people don’t want it to close but there’s not a lot we can do about it.”