Salford's Grade II listed Crescent pub closed ‘until further notice’ amidst fears that Chinese owners plan new residential development
Having stood the test of time for more than 150 years, The Crescent Pub - formerly The Red Dragon - has become something of a Salford institution. Even Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are alleged (the editor isn't so sure) to have spent time there, discussing the finer points of capitalism over a few pints and a bag of Mr Porky's pork scratchings (or so we like to think).
However, it’s now feared bar staff at the historic watering hole could have pulled their last pint, after a sign went up in the window on Monday: ‘closed until further notice.’
Fears The Crescent would become a victim of the areas redevelopment have been rife since June last year, when it was purchased by Chinese investors for a reported sum of £325,000.
Bartender Nick Baguley since told the Salford Star that they have subsequently failed to maintain the building and imposed ‘daft rents’ that were impossible to pay.
Despite hosting regular live music nights, custom has also dwindled and Baguley says that, barring a ‘miracle,’ its closure is expected to be permanent.
With neighbouring public house, The Black Horse Hotel, having controversially made way for 399 ‘unaffordable’ apartments - constituting a ‘high level of harm to the character and appearance of the Crescent conservation area’ according to the Victorian Society and Historic England - some are now predicting a similar fate for The Crescent, despite its Grade II listing. After all, heritage protection hasn’t stopped it being painted a lurid lime green.
The owners are yet to announce their intentions.
A snippet from Confidential's review of The Crescent (2009):
'On my visit recently there was no highfalutin' talk about the demise of the bourgeoisie or the distribution of wealth, even though I wondered where my change went after the third round.
'No, it was mostly claptrap, despite the fact that I was there for the PHD qualification party of my Portuguese friend Anna, now Dr Anna, who has been slaving away (as if), in the biochemistry department of Salford University for four years.
'For example. Me: “You don’t often seen a pub painted green and white on the outside like this one, do you?” Random professor: “Eh? What yer drinking?”
'Questions, questions, and at the Crescent, that particular one can be quite challenging, as the choice is immense in one of Salford’s best free houses.
'See, wouldn’t you just know it, in the famous crescent terrace on The Crescent road, aka the A6, opposite the university, the pub serves up a range of real ale to boggle the beer goggles. There was Williams Bros Rooster, Pictish Black Diamond, Blakemere Fruit Mild, Northumberland, Greenmill Chocolate Mild, Goose Eye Bar Bill, Hornbeam Ale & Grace, Six Bells Mayflower and Phoenix Monkeytown Mild, to name just nine available.
'The awesome Alchemist and Bazens Pacific had just been drunk dry. On top of that lot there are some classy foreign numbers, such as La Choufe.
'Needless to say I had quite a few ales, which made the strangely curved walls seem even curvier. Barely a single right angle could be seen, which only serves to add to the quirky charm of this historic boozer.
'There are very few frills. We sat in a black and white wattle and daub style-room with a stone floor and spartan photographs on the wall. One, black and white, of course, showed cars trundling along the duel-carriageway outside. A flyer advertises the forthcoming appearance of the Salford Sheiks.
'The room on the right as you enter, painted pink and white, is slightly posher, but only slightly, with wooden floors and framed pub posters and a Lowry reproduction.
'In a corridor lurks an old red and green clothes mangle and other bric-a-brac is scattered about hither and thither. It’s all totally random but sort of comfortably spot-on and as a result the clientele and atmosphere are second to none.'