It's Burger King vs The Bison Arms

Nick Vardy and Jack Cregan of Bison Beer
Nick Vardy and Jack Cregan of Bison Beer

What will become of the old Mariner pub in East Street?

Bison Beer and the Bottom’s Rest pub have teamed up to start a crowdfunding campaign to open The Bison Arms at the old Mariner pub.

This comes weeks after a 11,500-strong petition to stop Burger King from taking on the site at East Street in The Lanes.

Nick Vardy and Jack Cregan, co-founders of craft beer shop Bison Beer in East Street, came up with the idea with Simon Duddington of Bottom’s Rest in Hove. Mr Cregan said: “Residents and our customers came to us and said there’s clearly a demand for a real independent pub in Brighton. We want to revive Clarendon Mansions as a pub. A pub that champions everything about Brighton and Sussex.”

He said it would cost at least £200,000 to bring the site back into use, but said Whitbread, which leases the site, had made an agreement in principle for the idea of a pub.

The group has set up a crowdfunding campaign where “investors big and small from the local community can contribute to the project”, which will use local breweries. Mr Cregan said: “We want The Bison Arms to be funded, built, staffed, supplied and enjoyed by the people of Brighton and Sussex.”

The crowdfunding campaign launch will be held at the Brighton Media Centre, 68 Middle Street, on Friday, November 27, from 7pm. The Burger King application will still go before city planners.