The owners of The Estcourt Arms in Watford have stepped down from running the pub.
Their final night at the helm on November 19 came just weeks after the owners of another Watford venue, The Horns, also handed back their keys, citing that it was financially unsustainable.
Nikki and Nik of Estcourt Arms stated that there were “situations behind the scenes” out of their control, and with a baby on the way, now was the right time to move on to “pastures new”.
In a Facebook post, they said: “We would like to thank each and every one of you for your support, love, and friendship and for making the last few years here so good.
“From our amazing loyal regulars, the Watford football gang, the strangers that have become family, and all our bar staff (past and present), you’ve all made our time here one we will not forget in a hurry. We will genuinely miss you all (most of you anyway haha!).”
One dismayed resident commented: “Sad times. Wish you all the very best of luck going forward. Watford won’t be the same.”
Since Nikki and Nik’s departure, the pub has now been boarded up by the operators, Star Pubs & Bars, a subsidiary of Heineken.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Star Pubs & Bars has made The Estcourt Arms secure while it remains closed. We are committed to reopening the pub again as soon as possible.”