The White Hart yesterday
Petersfield’s White Hart pub enjoyed its busiest evening for two years last night, when two vagrants broke into the premises and polished off 12 cans of Special Brew, and an out-of-date bag of honey roasted peanuts from behind the bar.
Any hope that this reversal in fortunes might lead to the inn reopening were swiftly dashed by landlord Max Prophet, who said: "Our small establishment is a financial casualty of the recession, the effects of which have been exaggerated by the arrival of a Netherregions pub over the road.
"We were already struggling in the current financial climate and the success of The Red Lion has merely been the nail in our already-prepared coffin.”
Prophet denied the White Hart was simply a rubbish pub, and that it was very rare for customers to wander in and stay for anything more than a polite half long before Netherregions took over the Red Lion.
And he refuted the suggestion that other pubs in the town are not losing trade to the Red Lion and that perhaps, a simple renovation might bring new life to the pub.
He added: "This is irrelevant now. The pub has failed, the building will rapidly become an eyesore, and the best thing for everybody would be for planning to be rushed through for a large block of flats.
"My wife and I find all this very stressful and we just want to be able to take time out in a little chalet that I have my eye on in the Seychelles ."