An iconic Kingston music venue is set to close down later this year.
The Sir Robert Peel - known simply as The Peel by thousands of bands and gig goers – has announced it will cease trading on its official Facebook page.
A closing-down party featuring a day of bands and DJs is already in the pipeline, despite no closure date being finalised.
An administrator for the Peel’s Facebook page confirmed the closure on Wednesday, saying: “It is true.
“We are having a closing down party. Info will be posted here."
For many years the pub was one of the borough’s premier live gig venues, where hundreds of young bands cut their performing teeth both onstage and in the rehearsal rooms below.
It has also played host to a number of well-established acts over the years, including The Vaccines, Jamie T, Gallows and John Newman.
The pub was also known for its lap dance, striptease and pole dance shows, which took place in a separate area behind the music room.
Supporters of the Peel were dismayed to hear the news.
One Facebook user wrote: “Where the hell are new bands gonna get a chance to strut their stuff?! Really sad news if that's true”.
Another said: “Nooo, the peel is an amazing venue for gigs. it can't close”.
The Peel was once one of Kingston's premier gig venues - but has been in decline in recent years
The Peel’s popularity has waned in recent years, opening infrequently to host guaranteed sell-out live shows only.
It is understood the venue, in Cambridge Road, will now be sold off by its debt-ridden brewery owner Punch Taverns, which owes creditors £2.3bn.
Rumours have already begun circulating that Tesco, which recently scrapped plans to build a supermarket in Tolworth, are interested in the site.
However, the company has yet to declare any interest in the land.
Jon Tolley, manager of Banquet Records, which organised hundreds of gigs at the Peel, said: “I worked at the Peel behind the bar and put on shows before doing Banquet, and there’s been some amazing gigs there, but it’s lost its way a bit.
“But the fact is the room is the best room to watch live music in Kingston.
“There’s going to be a big hole left when it goes.”
What do you think? Will you be sad to see The Peel close?
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