THE owner of a popular Southampton bar has confirmed that the business has gone into administration.

The Daily Echo can reveal that Marshals Bar in London Road has been shut down – not even a year after it launched.

As previously reported, the bar had closed for refurbishment last week with no information about when it would be open again and there were rumours that the company was being liquidated after staff received letters saying they had lost their jobs.

Now John Greenwood, who financially backed the company when it launched in October last year, has confirmed that they have been forced to shut down the bar.

John said: “I’m just as disappointed as all our customers that it’s shutting down. It’s mostly upsetting for our lovely staff, it was a great venue with a brilliant atmosphere, good food and drink and a really good team of people working there.”

John said that the refurbishments had been planned to start on Sunday, July 19 which is when they closed the bar for workmen to start moving the front doors and that was supposed to take a few days.

Then on Wednesday, July 22 he found out the company was going into liquidation.

John added: “It just wasn’t a viable business, it wasn’t making enough money and we were struggling to get a good turnover.”

John’s son Max, who is director of Marshals and runs The Rockstone pub, told the Daily Echo last week that he was not aware of the bar going into administration, saying that as the director he would expect to be one of the first to know.

John said he had not yet told his son what was happening because he was waiting for more information and that they were now in the process of finishing the refurbishments so they could sell the lease for the venue.

John added: “We are liable for the fully repairing lease and security of the premises. We are looking to sell on this lease and hence have to complete the works. The staff were informed immediately on Wednesday morning when I heard from the receivers.”

The letter sent to staff said: “I regret to inform you that the company is no longer in a position to make payments to you for services rendered and your contract of employment is terminated with immediate effect.”

The letter also said that the company FA Simms has been instructed to call a meeting of creditors to put the company into liquidation.

John said: “As much as everyone loved it, business is business and I can’t continue funding something that’s not making anything, my bank balance is struggling. But I am deeply saddened by the fact it is closing.”

A statement on Marshals Facebook page added: "It is correct in that the receivers were called in to Marshals, at the beginning of the week commencing 20th July.

"However, the refurbishment and doors being moved were scheduled to start on Sunday 19th and hence the bar was closed on that day. The original time estimate was for a few days.

"We are liable for the fully repairing lease and security of the Marshals premises. As we are looking to sell on this lease we have to complete these works.

"The Marshals staff were informed immediately on Wednesday morning the 22nd when we heard from the Receivers that we were placed into administration.

"I understand the staff's frustration but we had no option to wind up the business as it completely unsustainable."