I'll believe it when I see the doors open and beer on the bar. Many Oakham fans can tell you the year they were first offered free beer vouchers at an Oakham bar at a fest - GBBF, Peterborough - and the excitement of this time last year was a bit of a false dawn.
Delayed licence application, then a revised application submitted a month after they finally got approval, which seemed to test the patience of Lambeth Council's Licensing Sub-Committee; the sale of the posh flats over the pub, with one prospective occupant posting on a local blog that he'd been assured of 11pm weeknight closing, even as Oaka were asking for a 7-day, 4am licence! Cheeky sods. They've been through meetings with Guinness Trust, the Kennington Association (though we on the nearest council estate weren't deemed worthy of any special consultation).
My gut feeling (and it's an impressive gut) is that they won't open this week. Hoarding is still up, no sign of activity in the bar space, no external decs completed. Still, I hear there are ten beer engines going in, so some guest beers should be on offer alongside the usual Oakham suspects.
The other local news is that their next door neighbour, the Antic-operated Old Red Lion, is
It was quite a nice pub with a friendly manager, but I won't be shedding any tears. The Antic pubs I've been in are OK, but not craft enough for my tastes. Sort of like hipster Wetherspoons'.
So, it's now up to The Mansion House to try and keep me on the manor for a pint. More news once the place is open...
UPDATE: Who knows, indeed? Not me or my source. After the first comment was posted, I checked myself and the sale board is for a small retail premises which sits between the Old Red Lion and Mansion House. It looks like part of the pub, and I can't ever remember it being in use. So, anonymous commenter, thanks for the info, and sorry to the Old Red Lion. Reports of your demise were greatly exaggerated...
Oh, and it seems my Gut of Fate is right. Latest is that the Mansion House will open on March 1. A bloke was up a ladder working on the facade earlier today.