A popular Sunderland pub has been forced to close its doors to devastated punters this week.
The Corner Flag pub on High Street West near Keel Square closed yesterday after a struggle over rent demands.
The sports-themed pub, which was well used by Sunderland AFC fans, announced its closure on its Facebook page to outrage from some loyal customers.
A spokesman from the pub said in the post that it had “no other option but to close”.
The Echo were unable to contact The Corner Flag, but a post on its Facebook page read: “As everyone has probably heard we sadly have had to close The Corner Flag.
“We have not been able to recover from the building works as part of the council’s regeneration of Keel Square and with the council’s new rent demands, we have had no other option but to close.
“We want to thank everyone for your custom over the years and for some absolutely fantastic memories!”
Customers took to Facebook to express their regret that the venue was forced to close.
Ben McGuinness said: “This is tragic news. I loved to go here for a few pints on match day.”
Alex Casey said: “Awful news.
“This was always a great place to go to before and after home matches..”
The news comes after Sunderland City Council announced plans for a £3.5million pound project with Lumsden & Carroll Civil Engineering back in January, to carry out improvements in High Street West towards the new Keel Square.
Works include creating a more welcoming pedestrian environment, including new paving, planting, signage, street furniture and feature lighting.
Traffic management around Bridge Street and Fawcett Street will also be improved.
A Sunderland City Council spokesman said: “We provide all our city centre businesses with all the help and support that we can, which in the case of the Corner Flag included reduced rent during the multimillion- pound regeneration of Keel Square.”