ONE of Brighton’s oldest seafront pubs has closed its doors because of rising rent costs.

Doctor Brighton’s, in King’s Road, had won Gscene gay magazine’s Golden Handbag award for “favourite mixed venue” for the last three years.

But it has chosen not to renew the lease of its city council-owned building.

Landlord Charles Child, 37, said: “I have been the landlord there for the last ten years and it has been amazing.

“I’ve loved every minute.

“All walks of life went in there and I’m sure it will be missed massively.”

Doctor Brighton’s sub-leased the property from Enterprise Inns, which was leasing it from the council, for the last ten years.

Following negotiations between the three parties, the pub decided not to renew the lease.

Charles said: “After a two year battle with Enterprise Inns and the council I was forced to go into a bidding process with no rights to stay and the rent was going to be triple what I was paying.”

A council spokesman said: “We have a legal duty to maximise revenues from our property portfolio in order to help fund council services.

“We had previously let the property to Enterprise Inns and this lease came to an end in the summer, we therefore instructed our agents to seek bids on a new lease.”

He said the rise in rent was due to competition for the location, adding: “This was an open bidding process and the rent was not set by the council, it was determined by the bids that came in.

“We had originally agreed a deal with the person who had previously sub-leased the property from Enterprise Inns, but that person then chose to withdraw from that deal and we have now agreed a deal with a different bidder at a comparable rent.”

Charles said the venue was like no other in the city.

The pub was dubbed Doctor Brighton’s in the 19th century.

The building has a history as both a pub and inn and is said to have hosted the likes of Charlie Chaplin and the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII.

Charles said: “My ethos for Doctor Brighton’s was that it was always a pub for everybody and not the few, a truly mixed pub where gender, race, sexuality, age and ability made no difference as long as there was no prejudice inside the venue.

“It was a fun, safe pub for everybody to enjoy.”

The venue had a farewell party to say goodbye to loyal customers.