THE long-term future of a popular village pub is hanging in the balance after it closed.
The McOrville, on The Green, in Elwick, which was well known in Hartlepool and the region for its good food, has shut its doors.
A notice has been placed at the entrance saying “This business has ceased trading” despite it only being refurbished around two years ago.
The closure of the pub has come as a shock to villagers, including Steve Mailen, who runs Elwick Village Shop and Post Office which is next door to the now empty pub.
He told the Hartlepool Mail that The McOrville had not been open for a couple of weeks.
“We all thought it was doing well,” he said.
“It was only refurbished about two years ago and it’s got a really good reputation for food and everything. It seemed really popular.
“It’s a shame because it was a busy little pub and hopefully it’ll be snapped up and someone will want to take it over because it does have a knock-on effect with other businesses in the village.”
Enterprise Inns confirmed the pub belonged to its group, but declined to comment on the reasons behind the sudden closure.
The pub was popular with people from the village, the town and surrounding areas for its real ales, fine wines, lunches, Sunday dinners and evening meals.
Website casktask.blogspot.com, which researches real ale pubs, described The McOrville as “an unexpected pleasure”.
It went on to say: “This friendly and comfortable pub serving good food and, more importantly from Cask Task’s point of view, good real ale .
“A smashing pub well worth the trip out.”
Elwick councillor Hilary Thompson added: “No-one wants to see village pubs close and the regulars were very disappointed and shocked at the suddenness of the McOrville’s closure.
“The McOrville and the Spotted Cow are different in style and our pub landlords have always said that having two successful pubs in Elwick is great for residents, but also makes the village more attractive to visitors from the town and the surrounding area.
“We all look forward to the reopening of the Mac as soon as possible”.