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‘Tackiest pub’ is up for sale again
THE “tackiest pub in Britain” is back on the market after a sale fell through at the last minute.
Gerry Stonhill’s Individual Mason Arms and Cuban Cigar Club – which has been acclaimed by celebrity chefs and has its own helicopter pad – was put up for sale in May this year.
The pub, which closed at the beginning of May after Mr Stonhill retired, is being sold by Colliers International estate agents, but a deal collapsed at the last minute.
Spokesman Peter Brunt said: “We were just 12 hours away from exchanging contracts when the pub company involved pulled out due to a change of heart.
“But there was considerable interest from potential buyers and I am confident it will be snapped up before long.”
The Mason Arms, the first pub in Oxfordshire to be prosecuted for disregarding anti-smoking laws, is back on the market for £700,000 – less than the previous asking price of £895,000. Owner Mr Stonhill famously flouted the smoking ban at the pub and was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £5,750 in 2008.
On leaving court he told the Oxford Mail that former Prime Minister Tony Blair could “stick his anti-smoking law up his a***”.
He later joked that the payments were “nothing much to a rich man” and that he had “paid that out of a bag of loose change that I had lying about”.
Mr Stonhill refused to let children into the pub and accepted payment by cash and American Express card only.
The pub’s website reads: “We don’t like children, mobile telephones or media restaurant critics. We do like our guests to arrive by Hispano-Suiza, Bugatti, Ferrari, In a Helicopter or on an MV Agusta.”
But the Grade II-listed pub received high praise from some of the world’s finest chefs.
Raymond Blanc described it as his “all-time favourite” pub and Marco Pierre White said it was his “favourite pub in Britain”.
But the watering hole was not to everyone’s liking. Mr Stonhill reputedly fell out with The Sunday Times’s then restaurant critic, Michael Winner, after he described it as “the tackiest pub in Britain”.
Colliers International say the pub is “an attractive building with its own helicopter landing area for particularly well-heeled guests, with plenty of car parking, unexploited gardens and plenty of room for further development.”
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