Last orders at the Cross Keys?

Cross Keys'Photo Emma Mitchell'21/5/12

Cross Keys'Photo Emma Mitchell'21/5/12

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ONE of Milngavie’s oldest pubs, The Cross Keys, may be forced to close temporarily at the weekend.

A historic cornerstone, the pub and restaurant on Station Road has been leased by father and son Stuart and Craig Mackenzie since 2009, but it’s believed that it dates back to the 1800s.

The Cross Keys is now owned by Spirit Pub Company after Punch Taverns merged with the company and Stuart’s lease ends on Monday, May 28.

In an official statement Spirit Pub Company said that the pub will remain and continue trading.

A spokesperson for Spirit Pub Company said: “It would only be closed for a short time if we were required to conduct legal safety compliance works.”

The Mackenzie’s cited difficult trading conditions as their reasons for moving on.

Stuart Mackenzie said: “We have had the Cross Keys for nearly four years now and we are sad to be leaving however this is a very difficult time in the pub industry and it is time for us to move on.

“My son and I will be focusing on our bar and restaurant in Erskine, The Whuppity Scourie and we are also about to launch a new coffee shop in that area.

“We have some wonderful memories of the Cross Keys to take with us and I’d like to thank all of our customers, staff and suppliers for all of their support over the years.”

There were concerns in the village that the Cross Keys would be closing permanently because a new leaseholder had not been lined up.

Gilbert McVean, owner of Iron Chef hardware store opposite the Cross Keys, said: “I would be incredibly disappointed if the Cross Keys shut down because it’s a pivotal part of the town centre.

“We have very few bars and restaurants in the precinct and this would leave only one other traditional style of pub here.

“If it closes over the summer it’s really quite serious for Milngavie because thousands of walkers will be here.

“I would be very upset to see it boarded up.”

The Cross Keys is hosting a get together on Saturday night. It starts at 8pm and features well known local DJ Campbell, karaoke and buffet, and they hope all their regulars will go along and join them to raise a toast to the pub.