Home   Gravesend   News   Article

The Kings Head Sports Bar in Gravesend to reopen as pub again a year after it closed down to be converted into a supermarket

The owner of a popular pub turned supermarket has revealed plans to reopen the boozer.

Boss Rifo Sucu decided to close The Kings Head Sports Bar, in Gravesend, in March last year stating it was due to the town's "deterioration".

The pub was closed in March 2023
The pub was closed in March 2023

Speaking at the time, he said it was a “very difficult decision” to make but felt left with no other choice.

The statement added: "Crime has increased and so many criminals and alcoholics have been re-located to Gravesend town centre from other boroughs.

"This has contributed to the town's deterioration. Working with the public seven days a week we hear their views and so many say the same thing.

"They do not come to Gravesend for clubbing anymore, they would rather go to Rochester or Maidstone.”

The sports bar, in King Street, was subjected to a spate of crimes, assaults and licensing issues over the years before its closure.

In June 2021, hooded thieves broke into the bar and carried away a safe containing £15,000.

However, the supermarket is now set to be reconverted into a pub
However, the supermarket is now set to be reconverted into a pub

Later that year there was a vicious gang attack outside the premises which left the victim requiring facial surgery.

Police officers then called for a licensing review after a man in his 20s was repeatedly punched in the head and left with serious injuries.

It was suspended for three months for staff to be retrained, new procedures put into place and three relevant licence holders put into position.

Pub bosses then decided to close the pub in March 2023 much to the disappointment of loyal customers.

Six months later planning permission was sought to change the use of the building into a supermarket, turning the bar area into a fruit and vegetable stall, bakery and butcher.

It opened shortly after but Rifo, who lives in Bexley, has now decided to convert it back into a public house.

Owner Rifo Sucu has decided to reopen the pub
Owner Rifo Sucu has decided to reopen the pub

He said: “We were fed up and wanted to make it into something different but I have changed my mind. I missed the pub.

“The town needs a sports bar. We had a year break but it is the right time to come back and reopen The Kings Head.”

He said since they closed he has been approached by other businesses such as takeaways and taxi firms who saw a downfall in customers.

The businessman, who has owned the property for the last 20 years, added: “We hope this time the town will be better.

“We want to bring something back. It is a ghost town. We need something like this to bring people back here and we are going to be that.

He decided to extend the supermarket next door into the former pub
He decided to extend the supermarket next door into the former pub

“Why are people choosing to go to Rochester, Maidstone or Bexley? There is nothing here for them that is why.

“Hopefully more pubs and bars will follow and local businesses will gain.”

The supermarket is undergoing a £150,000 refurbishment to get it ready in time for a September reopening.

“We have had so much support from customers,” Rifo added. “I am looking forward to it.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More