The King Billy pub on Longbrook Street, which had built up a loyal following over the years, closed its doors on Tuesday 10th July. The pub, which was often referred to by locals as ‘the zoo’, was often regarded by Exeter students as an out-and-out ‘locals pub.’
Regulars packed into the octagonal shaped pub for a final party after the sudden announcement of July 10th, just a day before England’s landmark semi-final match against Croatia, as its closing date. The following morning the pub’s signs had already been removed.
A pub had existed on the site since the eighteenth century, but it’s former location will soon be home to up to 108 students
Pub regular Matt James, who recently launched an e-petition in an attempt to save the pub, said: “Last night was a great send off with so many people dancing and enjoying the night. Punters were upset it has now been closed. I miss the great atmosphere we all had there, especially when football games were played- and especially the World Cup.”
A pub had existed on the site since the eighteenth century, but it’s former location will soon be home to up to 108 students in purpose-built new accomodation. The developers Rengen initially planned to replace the pub with nine stories of student accommodation but were told to go back to the drawing board by Exeter City Council, who claimed the flats would dwarf their surroundings.
“The King Billy is iconic to the town and I will be sad to see it go.” (PETERS)
The pub’s landlord Chris Peters said: “The company I work for- Eighteen Inns- were looking for other places to relocate the pub to but their was noting that suited their needs or my needs.”
“Places like Whetherspoons have a niche as they appeal to everyone, but I wouldn’t want to drink in them as it rips the heart and soul out of the business, in my opinion. That’s why locals close because people are not supporting them.”
“The King Billy is iconic to the town and I will be sad to see it go.”