Landlords of one of High Wycombe’s oldest buildings say they are owed “substantial” rent after tenants running a new cocktail bar from it stopped trading without warning.

The new Wheatsheaf cocktail bar at 2/3 High Street closed without warning just months after opening, leaving landlords Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust (BHBT) reeling after a painstaking restoration of the unit.

The Grade-II listed building is around 700 years old and is the second oldest building in the town behind All Saints Church. 

The ground floors were previously shop units but the building was in terrible condition. After a major renovation project, which involved specialist works to the timber-framed structure, the building was given a new lease of life and a cocktail bar opened after financial backing from members of the public.

There were grand visions for a ‘Speakeasy’ style bar, with space upstairs for private events, cocktail classes and community use, and financial backers were promised special rewards like free dinners in return for helping the tenants raise over £21,000 to fund the bar.

But after a rocky start, which saw members of the public who had donated cash questioning when they would get their rewards, the tenants left with no explanation, leaving BHBT owed rent.

In a statement to the Bucks Free Press, chairman Dr James Moir explained: “It looks like our tenant stopped trading without any warning on the 4th July.

“Since we have been unable to trace the tenant and are owed substantial arrears of rent, we had no alternative but to retake possession.

“The Trust is looking for a new business tenant to move in as soon as possible. The building has lots of space on the two upper floors as well as the ground floor unit and a cellar and would be suitable for a variety of uses.

“We made sure the restoration was done to the highest standard, meeting all modern requirements for services, accessibility etc whilst preserving the historic character of the 1399 timber-framed structure.”

Dr Moir said the property will shortly be advertised, but for further details or expressions of interest in the interim, contact

The Bucks Free Press has made attempts to contact one of the people who was running the cocktail bar but has so far not received any response.