The Yard of Ale, the notorious Birmingham pub targeted in the 1974 bombings in which 21 people died, has shut its doors 36 years after the terrorist outrage.
The closure of the New Street pub follows the decision by West Midlands brewery group Marston’s not to renew the long-term lease.
The pub, which was called the Tavern in the Town at the time of the bombings, was put on the market earlier this year for the first time for more than 20 years after the lease ran out and Marston’s decided to relinquish the contract.
But Marston’s spokesman Jeremy Eaton said: “I can confirm that we have now surrendered the lease and the pub is closed.”
Offers in the region of £65,000 a year had been sought for the lease of the property, which has planning permission for public house, wine bar or restaurant/cafe. The Yard of Ale is among a string of pubs across the West Midlands which have been forced to close following the impact of the recession. It is understood that the popularity of newer bars elsewhere in the city centre had also hit the Yard of Ale.
The New Street premises were rebuilt to replicate the style of the pub in the 1970s before the atrocity on the night of November 21, 1974. The Mulberry Bush beneath the Rotunda was also attacked.
The pub was originally an M&B house at the time of the bombing and was hugely popular with young drinkers in the 1970s.
Marston’s had run the Yard of Ale for over ten years but decided to offload the lease in the spring of this year.
The pub, sited in a basement cellar-style bar below ground level, has been particularly badly hit by the controversial smoking ban introduced in the summer of 2007.
The Birmingham bombings marked the worst terrorist outrage on mainland Britain until the July 2005 London suicide bombings. The IRA has never admitted responsibility.