Grumpy Goat Reading closure: calls for law to change

The owners of The Grumpy Goat craft beer and cheese shop in Union Street have announced that they will have to shut up shop after its last day of trading on Saturday, October 28.

The Grumpy Goat announced that the closure is being undertaken following instructions from the landlord.

The news has led to an outpouring of sadness among other independent businesses with the landlords being accused of greed.

Labour MP for Reading East Matt Rodda has written to the government minister for enterprise, markets and small business Kevin Hollinrake calling on him to introduce regulations that would protect small businesses.

Mr Rodda’s letter states: “Dear Kevin, I am writing to raise the case of a much loved local small business which is closing after the failure of negotiations with its landlord.

“The Grumpy Goat in Union Street, in Reading town centre, is a well known bar and shop, which sells cheese, craft beer and other items, with an outstanding reputation built up over 10 years of trading.

“Sadly, the business is closing on Saturday, October 28, following the failure of the negotiations.

“The closure will be a huge loss to customers, and it also sets a worrying precedent for independent retailers in our town centre and other local centres across our area.

“I hope the government can offer some help and reassurance at this difficult time for small businesses and I wondered if you might be able to help in this particular case.

“While I realise a negotiation about rent takes place between a landlord and tenant the Government is able to change regulation affecting both landlords and the small business community and it can also introduce new legislation if necessary.

“Thank you for your interest in this case and I look forward to hearing from you.”

Mr Hollinrake is the Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire.

According to the Law Commission, the government is currently exploring modernising the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

However, the review could lead to a protection known as ‘security of tenure’ being removed, meaning that businesses would lose the right to a new lease.

Meanwhile in Reading, a petition calling for the landlords to reconsider and allow The Grumpy Goat to stay has been signed by 409 people in just 24 hours.

The shop, cafe and bar was packed for its penultimate trading day on Friday, October 27.

The Grumpy Goat previously operated at Harris Arcade but moved into its current premises in Union Street in November 2020. The building they occupied was home to the Quantum internet cafe from 1999 to 2020.

Despite relocation hopes, Quantum Cafe never reopened.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre