Vandal-hit pub closes its doors

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

AN ICONIC pub has closed its doors after being trashed by vandals.

Concerns have been voiced over the future of the Cross Keys in Milngavie after the premises were targeted last week.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage were caused and traders are worried about how long it will remain shut – with a knock-on effect for other businesses in the village.

The carpet in front of the bar is covered with white paint, some carpets have been removed leaving bare floorboards, glass mirrors behind the bar have been smashed and shards of glass cover the bar and floor.

It is understood, the damage has not, as yet, been reported to the police and there is no indication as to when the pub might re-open.

The Cross Keys pub and restaurant on Station Road is an historic cornerstone in the village, believed to date back to the 1800s.

The hostelry is popular with tourists as a place to eat and drink when they walk the West Highland Way.

The owner – Spirit Pub Company – was forced to close the premises after the vandalism.

It is taking action to try to get the Cross Keys back up and running. It is understood a new leaseholder is being sought.

However, there are concerns that it could be left derelict long term – attracting more anti-social behaviour.

Gilbert McVean, who owns The Iron Chef shop opposite the premises, said: “It would be terrible if the Cross Keys has to be boarded up.

“I used to be in the building trade and I’d estimate that it would cost about £200,000 to refurbish the pub. There is nothing left in there of any use.

“No-one will take a lease of the pub with all that work that needs to be done.

“Will Spirit Pub Company be willing to do that?

“I’m really hacked off with the situation – this will wreck the village and affect us all.”

Ian Lavrie, chairman of Milngavie Traders Association and owner of Townhead Carpets near the Cross Keys, said: “We are concerned to see another business closing and we are worried about the safety of the building while it lies empty.

“We would hate to see vandals damage it even more.

“We hope to see it open again as soon as possible as it’s such a key business in the centre.”

A spokesperson for Spirit Pub Company told the Herald: “We are aware of the situation and we are taking action to ensure the pub is up and running again as soon as possible.”

CROSS KEYS AT RISK . . . The Cross Keys pub will need thousands of pounds to be spent on it before it can be re-opened for business, it is feared.