BRIAN Johnson pulled his last pint at the Bath Hotel this week – but his departure will not pull the plug for real ale drinkers.
The pub, in Victoria Street near the former Glossop Road baths, has been taken over by Thornbridge Brewery, which has pledged to maintain the its reputation.
Brian has run the place since 2000.
A ‘proper’ old-fashioned pub, it was bought by Burton-based brewers Ind Coope in 1914, remodelled in 1931 and has hardly changed since then.
An official Grade II listing from English Heritage ensures that the snug, bar and lobby will all remain, along with stained glass windows and even the original seating.
Brian, aged 53, said: “It’s been great fun running the Bath – and I want to thank all the valued customers – but it’s time to spend more time with my wife and family. We were delighted when we found out that Thornbridge was interested in the pub as I know it’s going to be in great hands.”
Simon Webster, Thornbridge’s chief operating officer, said: “We understand its history and the affection people have for it and we will honour this in the minimal changes we will make. Rest assured we will enhance what is there and continue to make the pub a credit to the city.
“With it being free of tie, it will also give us an opportunity to showcase beers from some of the other great breweries around the UK.”
The Bath will be managed by Thornbridge pubs operations manager Mike Pidgeon and, on a daily basis, by Edd Entwistle.
It is the 12th in the portfolio of pubs, bars and restaurants that the company runs with sister company BrewKitchen.
Brian added: “It’s great to see Sheffield become a national centre for beer and pubs – I often felt we were an outpost fighting a lost cause.
“Now things have turned around, with more and more people enjoying the ever-increasing variety of beers available. The Bath is a great place to drink it and I’ll certainly be visiting.”