BY TOBY PORTER
A pub landlord was booted off the premises and out of his home after his employers, Heineken, decided to put his business partner in charge instead.
Elliot Swift, his wife Caterina, 26, and their five-month-old baby daughter Adriana, have been protesting outside the Two Bridges Pub in Tooley Street, Southwark since they were ousted.
Police moved them on on Tuesday, saying it was harassment.
The former assistant manager of the Amersham Arms in New Cross took over the high profile boozer, formerly called the Bridge Lounge, when it needed nearly half a million pounds spent on it – and turned it into a profit-maker.
He claimed he was making more than £25,000 a week last month – but his bosses insisted he change his methods.
He was told on November 11 he had to leave and he was given formal notice of the termination of his contract three days later.
He will be evicted from his flat above the pub on Tuesday – just one week before Christmas.
He is currently living off Universal Credit and may have to go to the home of his in-laws in Italy to celebrate Christmas – a holiday season when he had hoped to be bringing in bumper earnings.
A statement from pub owners Star Pubs and Bars – part of the Heineken alcohol empire – said: “The Two Bridges was operated on a management contract by a limited company, which had two directors (Mr Swift and Joseph Marcuccio).
The contract had to be terminated due to non-compliance with its terms and conditions.
“Repeated warnings were given about this. All monies owed have been paid to the limited company.
We have a good working relationship with one of the directors who is now running the pub under a new contract.
The other director is no longer involved in the pub’s operation and, as a result, was given 28 working days notice to vacate the pub’s accommodation.”
But New York-raised publican said: “I was not given any list of violations – because I had not done any.
“It seems to have been personal. The manager just seems to have got on well with my business partner, who is now running the pub.
“Maybe it was just because I refused to do things their way. But we were making a lot of money for the company.
“I was caught unawares. I had a meeting with a manager on November 11 about our plans for Christmas and suddenly he said ‘your position is no longer sustainable’.
“But that is not giving me a reason – I have never been given a reason.
“When I started there in September the kitchen was not viable and there was a hole in the ceiling.
“The keg room fridge did not work. It was being refurbished right up until we reopened in September.”
A spokeswoman for Star Pubs & Bars said: “A business relationship has broken down between the two parties and therefore this is not something we can comment on.”
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