Long-serving landlord Gerry Dolan retired from The Westminster Arms on Monday (September 4), after exactly three decades behind the bar.
Gerry, 68, began managing the central London pub – which has been owned by independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame for the past 15 years – on September 4, 1993
His long pub career started in his home town of Cavan, Ireland where he worked as a barman before moving to Dublin and then to London in 1989. It was rounded off with some emotional moments for him as past and present colleagues, as well as a few well-known faces including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, popped by to see him.
Gerry said: “I purposely timed my retirement to coincide with my 30th anniversary at the pub. It has been an amazing three decades – I’ve served everybody. You name it, they’ve been here – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof and Prince Edward. I think a lot of the celebrities come in here because we never bother them. They just come in here for a quiet drink.”
The Westminster Arms is in the heart of political London, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. A particular favourite with MPs, it features a division bell so they can dash back to the House in time for the vote.
Gerry said: “I have a lot of happy memories. We have seen everything here, and have been at the heart of so many momentous events as the pub is in such a central location.
“But we got to the point where we wanted a rest – though I feel a bit emotional. I will definitely miss London.”
Shepherd Neame Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “Gerry and Marie have done a fantastic job at The Westminster Arms over many years, and particularly during the past 15 years with Shepherd Neame, creating a very successful pub with a loyal customer base. They are hugely popular and will be much missed. I would like to personally thank them for their hard work and enthusiasm and wish them every success for the future.”