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£360k Canterbury pub sold by Shepherd Neame to former poker star

The Monument, a landmark pub in Canterbury which closed at the beginning of 2020, has been sold via Christie & Co, off a guide price of £360k.

Dating back to 1802, the Grade II listed property enjoys a prime main road location along St Dunstans Street, close to Canterbury’s historic city centre, Canterbury West station, and the city’s various universities campuses.

The attractive terrace building comprises a two-section front bar containing many original features which fill it with character, including a large fireplace and exposed ceiling beams, along with three additional seating areas split over two levels and a large beer garden to the rear. Additionally, a five-bedroom owner’s flat is located on the second floor.

The Monument was sold on behalf of local brewers, Shepherd Neame, and has been purchased by Sam Holden, a former poker star and local Canterbury resident, who aims to bring the pub back to life after a year of closure.

Whilst Holden’s family has been associated with the hospitality industry in the past, he left college to take up his passion of poker and rose to fame at the age of 22 when he made it to the final table of the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas, just a year after turning professional. His winnings at the tournament topped $750k which allowed him to enjoy the next four years travelling the UK and the world stage representing 888 Poker.

Retiring early, Holden returned to Canterbury to study philosophy, and since graduating, has decided to explore his other passions: British pubs and real ale, with a foray into the licensed hospitality sector.

He plans to reopen The Monument once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, with a wide selection of interesting beers and food, taking advantage of the classic interior and delightful gardens to the rear.

Holden commented, “Having been looking for my next project for some time, I am delighted to have completed the deal on The Monument. The pub presents an exciting opportunity in an industry I am very passionate about, whilst also being in a great location in a city that I love.

'I look forward to welcoming customers in the summer who should expect a warm welcome from me behind the bar, as well as high quality food and drink at a reasonable price.”

The sale was brokered by Simon Chaplin, Senior Director of Corporate Pubs & Restaurants in Christie & Co’s Hospitality team. He added, “We are thrilled to have completed on the sale of The Monument, which has been a well-known watering hole at the heart of Canterbury for many years.

'The pub presented an ideal opportunity for purchasers looking to acquire a good quality freehold asset ahead of lockdown restrictions lifting, to take advantage of the anticipated pent-up demand from the pub-loving British public over the summer.

“This demand has driven a flurry of activity since the beginning of the year, and this sale is just one of over 100 hospitality businesses that Christie & Co has sold since January. We wish Sam all the best and look forward to seeing his ideas for the pub come to life later this year when it reopens.”