A temporary operator has closed a popular pub at short notice this week, with no reopening date set.

Locals were sad to see Fearnley Street’s The Oddfellows shut down, with its entrance and windows covered up, this week.

Heineken owns the pub while its subsidiary Stars Pubs & Bars had been recruiting for a new owner to take it over and was set to refurbish it once one was found.

However, it has been revealed that the closure was not planned as part of the refurbishment works.

A Stars Pubs & Bars spokesperson said: “We’ve had a temporary operator running Oddfellows in Watford whilst we recruit a longer term licensee, however, they closed the pub earlier this week at short notice.

“The pub has now been made secure until a new operator can be appointed.”

Watford Observer: The Oddfellows plans CGIThe Oddfellows plans CGI (Image: Stars Pubs & Bars)

Popular with away fans, the pub still appears set for an “extensive” planned refurbishment to become a “friendly and modern pub” which was originally to include renaming it.

It was later confirmed, in October last year, that the change to The Hornets will not go ahead and it will be called Oddfellows.

This may have been due to criticism that the name would be confusing for a pub patronised by away fans.

Watford Observer: Oddfellows refurbishment floorplanOddfellows refurbishment floorplan (Image: Stars Pubs and Bars)

A potential long-term closure was described as “sad” by a Watford fan who photographed the boarded up building.

“It's sad for the locals and for football fans as it was a great pub for the away fans to enjoy before and after games,” he said.

Stars Pubs & Bars had previously confirmed the refurbishment is subject to finding a new licensee.

Plans included an outdoor seating area in the beer garden with a retractable roof, an outdoor soft play area, kitchen facilities, and an open bar floor.

Watford Observer: The Oddfellows boarded upThe Oddfellows boarded up (Image: John Davies)

A listing advertised the pub for a minimum ingoing cost of £40,510, last year.

The annual rent was £44,236, with the company estimating annual turnover of £608,791, and profit of £52,484 for the tenants.

All applicants were required to have a minimum of £10,000 un-borrowed funds.

“Until an agreement has been finalised we cannot provide any further details,” the spokesperson added.