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JD Wetherspoon pub The Paper Moon in Dartford is set to close but regulars are campaigning to keep the beer taps on

Last orders have been called at a town centre pub - but regulars are fighting to keep the drinks flowing.

The Paper Moon in Dartford High Street has announced it will close on Sunday, and staff have invited customers for a final drink on Saturday.

A post from "Tanya and The Paper Moon team" on Dartford Gossip Facebook page states: "We are very sorry to say that we will be calling last orders for the last time this Sunday.

The Paper Moon in Dartford. Picture: Paul Farmer
The Paper Moon in Dartford. Picture: Paul Farmer

"All of our customers are welcome to join us on Saturday at 3pm to raise a glass and say our goodbyes.

"Thank you so much for all of your support and custom over the years."

However, Aaron Tattersall has posted a link on the same Facebook page to a petition he has launched to save the pub, run by the JD Wetherspoon chain, from closure.

More than 460 have so far signed the petition on the change.org website.

It states: "This is by far the best pub in Dartford, it is absolutely the friendliest Wetherspoons pub that many of us have EVER been to. None come close to this place.

"The staff and management are welcoming and are the glue that keep the place together. The reason is that there is another Wetherspoons just over the way, but it's just not the same.

"The people that drink in 'the moon' do so because they do not particularly like the Flying Boat. They are Paper Moon people. We need them to reconsider this, get signing the petition to keep it open."

The glass may be empty but regulars are fighting to keep drink flowing at The Paper Moon
The glass may be empty but regulars are fighting to keep drink flowing at The Paper Moon

Staff are transferring to other pubs owned by the chain, including The Flying Boat in nearby Spital Street.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said the pub chain was aware of the petition but that the decision to close The Paper Moon, and a second in Sittingbourne, was a commercial one.

"Every now and again, we look at the estate of 950 pubs and these ones were too small for the way we wish to trade.

"The pubs in Dartford and Sittingbourne are fantastic pubs and very successful but we have second pubs in these towns which have bigger kitchens and more seating.

"A customer might ask why we are selling these pubs but we have to make business decisions.

“We are aware of the petition from locals and fully understand that they don’t want the pub to close. We appreciate their loyalty over the years.

“We have another pub in the town, The Flying Boat, which we hope customers at The Paper Moon will use, though we understand that their loyalties lie with The Paper Moon itself."

The Summoner in Sittingbourne will also close on Sunday after nearly 20 years trading.

The two pubs were part of 50 put up for sale by J D Wetherspoon last year. No more Kent pubs face closure.

To sign the petition to save The Paper Moon go to http://chn.ge/23Yw4W1

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