Pub closes after landlady’s death

The Cross Keys pub

TRIBUTES have poured in for the much-loved landlady of a popular pub in Tunbridge Wells who passed away last month, resulting in the pub’s sudden closure.

Julie Wilson, 56, who had been running the Cross Keys pub on St John’s Road since 2017, died at King’s College Hospital on Saturday April 1.

The pub announced on March 26 that it would be “closing the pub tomorrow for unforeseen circumstances”, but on April 2, the day after Ms Wilson’s death, the pub confirmed online that it would be “closed until further notice due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Below the second announcement people had posted hearts and kisses for the late landlady, with others commenting: “RIP Julie”, “You will be missed” and “The world will definitely be a bit darker without her”.

Customers from St John’s and Southborough know the family-friendly pub for its regular events, good food, and community focus.

The pub had a full calendar of bingo nights, pub quizzes and live music performances, with it having celebrated St Patrick’s Day on March 17 and Mother’s Day on March 19, just before it closed.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ms Wilson and her team cooked up delicious buffets, three-course menus, and traditional Sunday roasts.

In its true community spirit, The Cross Keys was a dog-friendly pub and welcomed everyone who visited the venue.

The pub also had a children’s play area and wooden benches in its large beer garden.

The premises licence for the Cross Keys was transferred to EI Group Ltd, previously Enterprise Inns, the largest pub company in the UK, on April 4, 2023.

From the licensing documents, it appears that the pub will remain closed until a new designated Premises Supervisor is found.

An inquest into Ms Wilson’s death will be held at County Hall, Maidstone on June 8, at 2pm.

The Times has contacted the pub and is still awaiting comment.

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