There seemed to be some confusion as to what was happening to West End Lane pub The Lion, so I wrote to Greene King, the owners. Here’s the response:
“We are planning to close the Lion in West Hampstead temporarily for an exciting refurbishment. The plans and timings for the refurbishment have not yet been finalised but we will keep the local community updated. We apologise for any inconvenience the short-term closure may cause.”
Not adding huge amounts of info, but it does seem to suggest that the pub hasn’t been sold, but is being revamped – so the gastropub rumours may be correct.