Pub boss ‘out of pocket’ after row with owner

Proprietor Charley Davidson of Charley's Bar wants agreed funding so he can complete the renovation work. -  Pic: WALTER NEILSON
Proprietor Charley Davidson of Charley's Bar wants agreed funding so he can complete the renovation work. - Pic: WALTER NEILSON

The proprietor of a Kirkcaldy bar and restaurant is calling on the former owner of his building to fulfil an agreement to pay for up to £10,000 worth of ‘promised’ renovation work.

Charley Davidson, who runs Charley’s Bar in Dunearn Drive, claims Punch Taverns agreed to give him the money to renovate the pub – and so he began carrying out some of the work.

He said he spent £5000 on painting, decorating and putting in new upholstery only to find out that Punch was no longer going to be able to offer him the full funding after due to selling the building to Heineken Star Pubs & Bars last August.

It has offered to pay £2000 as a goodwill gesture.

But Mr Davidson claims he is still out of pocket – and he wants the full amount he claims he was promised to complete the renovations.

However, Punch says the spend was ‘unconfirmed’ and the change in ownership meant it could no longer be approved.

Mr Davidson told The Press: “Punch agreed to give me £10,000 to renovate my pub but then it backed out, leaving me out of pocket.

“It states clearly in correspondence from September that they agreed to support a spend of up to £10,000.

“Punch told me to carry on and do the work.

“I would not have started the renovations without its agreement.

“Now it is half a job done – the bar looks a mess because only part of the work has been carried out.

“Punch hasoffered me a goodwill gesture of £2000, but I have spent over £5000.

“Punch says it won’t give me the full amount because of the change in ownership, but Heineken doesn’t take over until March. All I want is the job finished.”

A Punch spokesmann said: “A potential, mini renovation spend at Charley’s Bar was discussed in early 2017 of up to £10,000.

“The spend was unconfirmed and required our publican to source and submit quotations which would be subject to our internal approval processes. Quotes were not received until August 2017 and were chased on several occasions.

“At this point, the sale of the Punch business to Heineken Star Pubs & Bars had completed and, due to the change in ownership, unfortunately it meant that the renovation spend at Charley’s could no longer be approved.

“Our publican was kept up to date with these developments throughout and, given that some works had already been completed – without Punch’s approval– a £2000 gesture of goodwill was offered.”

A spokesman for Heineken said: “Following the purchase of 1900 pubs from Punch we entered in to a six month transitional service agreement.

“That means that Punch continues to have operational control until March 2018 when the pubs will be fully integrated into ourstate.

“We cannot comment on the situation in individual pubs at this point. but we will review each pub when it transfers over.”