The Turl Bar at Lincoln is set to close after over 80 years of service, following a decision by the College to redevelop the site on Turl street for use as teaching and social space.
An application for planning permission was submitted last week. According to Lincoln college Bursar Tim Knowles, the site will be “extensively refurbished” and “sensitively restored” with the existing service yard being landscaped into a new courtyard.
The land the Turl Bar sits on has been owned by Lincoln college since 1467 but is currently leased to Whitbread, a hospitality company that also manages The Mitre on High Street.
A spokesman for Whitbread said that their decision not to renew the lease had been made “in conjunction with the college”. He explained that this decision came after Whitbread had decided that “this particular site no longer fits our long term strategy of running our own branded restaurants.”
A Lincoln press statement confirmed that, “The lease for the Turl Bar expired in 2005 and the tenant has not sought to renew it.”
However in the August 2010 edition of ‘Imprint’, the Lincoln news magazine, Professor Langford, the college Rector, wrote that the college had been “broadly planning for some years” to gain use of the Turl Bar’s facilities.
He alleged that the Turl Bar was “no longer a very salubrious place” and that “in evenings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, (it) can give rise to noise, filth and sometimes criminality.”
Professor Langford called the Turl Bar a “disagreeably downfallen public house”, arguing that taking over the bar would make it “much more attractive” to the students living in college accommodation above The Mitre.
The decision to close the Turl has been met with discontent from some students. Chris Hayes, a second year PPE student at St John’s said that he spends “four or five evenings a week” drinking at the Turl, “either alone or with a friend. This decision will eviscerate my social life.”
However, some students at Lincoln are glad to see the Turl Bar close. Mike Price, a second year biochemist, said that the noise from the bar is “hugely disrupting”.
He said, “I live just above the Turl Bar, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that it is closing.
“We get woken up every morning between six and seven when the first bottles are being thrown in the bin. The noise is literally ridiculous.”
When asked what she knew about the Turl’s closure, a Turl Bar barmaid said that there had been “an agreement dispute” before adding that “it’s an odd place but I like.”