A REOPENING party at the Catford Bridge Tavern and the last ever event at the Montague Arms will make it a bittersweet weekend for pub lovers.

There was an outcry when the Catford boozer was closed last month, following plans - later turned down by Lewisham Council officers - to turn it into flats and a supermarket.

But today from 6pm, the pub is planning a reopening party, with managers Antic saying they had managed to get a short term deal.

Operations Director Max Alderman said: "We wanted the deal to get us back in there before Christmas.

"We're fairly confident we'll secure a longer lease on it in the new year. But that's not 100 per cent guaranteed."

He said: "It's still pretty on the edge. We could have stuck it out and waited but we thought it would be best to get it open again now.

"We left it pretty much like the Marie Celeste so it should be pretty easy to get up and running again."

Thousands of people supporting the pub, turned around from its rundown days as the Copperfield, had signed a petition for it to be kept open while politicians in the area had also spoken out on the issue following numerous pub closures in the area.

But hopes of sinking another pint in the legendary Montague Arms, Queens Road, New Cross, appear to have gone for good.

The pub officially closed down early this year and a private party at the weekend is believed to be its last hurrah.

Its quirky bric-a-brac was sold off at auction and the building has been acquired by management agency Kingsbury on behalf of private clients.

The building is expected to be turned into retail and flats but the agency confirmed it would no longer be a pub.