A major coffee chain is in talks to take over Sheffield's 'most-haunted' pub, says the building's new owner - but campaigners are not happy.
The Carbrook Hall pub in Attercliffe closed in February, when it was sold by Punch Taverns to West Street Leisure (WSL).
It remains shut nearly seven months later but WSL director Sean Fogg says he is now in discussions with a multinational coffee chain, whose name he would not reveal, which wants to turn the building into a drive-through café.
He said the discussions were still at an early stage and it was impossible to say yet when the building might reopen.
"It's a fantastic building and location, and we're confident the right operator will come along and utilise the amazing opportunity," he said.
Mr Fogg added that there had been enquiries from a couple of pub operators but the location and the renovation work required meant it turned out to be 'not their cup of tea'.
The Grade II*-listed former pub is one of the city's most historic buildings, reputedly dating back to 1620 and having been used as a meeting place by the Roundheads during the Civil War.
It has also been described as one of South Yorkshire's most-haunted buildings, with reports of mischievous spirits throwing bottles around and ghostly apparitions in the toilet mirrors.
The building was registered by Sheffield Council in May as an asset of community value, following a joint application by Sheaf Valley Heritage and CAMRA, making it harder for the owners to sell, demolish or change the use of the premises.
Dave Pickersgill, of Sheffield & District CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), said Carbrook Hall is one of only two Grade II*-listed pubs in Sheffield and he called on the owner to put forward a 'comprehensive repair and restoration plan'.
"The old oak room is a fine example of a 17th-century panelled room with vine trail plaster frieze and enriched cross beam ceiling: if it was situated in a tourist hotspot, paying customers would visit on a daily basis," he added.
"I find it difficult to see how the suggested conversion of the building into a drive-through café could do anything but harm this historic part of our culture."