An iconic south London pub that played host to music legends such as Frank Sinatra is reopening next week, almost four years after it closed due to flooding.
The Half Moon in Herne Hill was forced to shut in August 2013 after a water main burst, leaving homes and businesses in 5ft-deep floods.
Almost four years on, the well-loved watering hole has been restored and owners Fuller’s are set to open its doors to the public on Monday.
The pub was at the centre of a well-supported community campaign to restore it as a music venue, which was last April rejected by the Southwark Council.
Past performers there include legendary artists such as U2, Frank Sinatra and Eric Clapton.
The council’s decision to back Fullers’ brewery’s plan was criticised by the likes of Grammy Award-winning singer La Roux, who branded developers “aggressive”.
And even now, in the week before the pub will reopen, campaigners are still refusing to accept the end of the pub’s live music scene.
Peter Blair, 55, said: “It would be criminal not to look to put something in place to restore the real music culture that the pub had.
“I don’t think for a second that we will ever bring bands like U2 back to the pub, but there are lots of bands out there that could play here.
“There’s no an on-going fight with Fullers now, it’s more about finding a programme that works.”
According to campaigners, musicians that have played at the Grade II-listed building include Eric Clapton, U2, The Police and Paloma Faith.
The venue’s doors will open for the first time since its refurbishment on Monday, March 20, Fuller’s said.
Fuller’s Inns managing director Jonathon Swaine said: “The Half Moon has set a new standard, not just in Fuller’s – but for the wider industry, in how to sympathetically refurbish a historic pub.
“The Half Moon has a history and heritage that deserves to be recognised and respected – and I truly believe we have succeeded in doing that.
“Herne Hill has a thriving and vocal community and The Half Moon has, in the past, been at its hub.
“I hope that by bringing her back to glory, they will once again feel the pub can resume its place at the heart of that. It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful pubs in the Fuller’s estate.”