A brothel will "definitely not open" on the site adjacent to Colonel Malone's in Stratford, says solicitor Ralph Vosseler, dispelling the rumour.
There is a slight possibility of a nightclub, he acknowledges, but says it is more likely to be used for a garden bar/outdoor area extension to Malone's, or for retail. He bought the property in the middle of last year, and as a main shareholder in Malone's, views it as a good opportunity to expand the business.
"I have discussed it with my partners, but no decision has yet been made. I am exploring various options."
On demolishing the front of the old building on the site, he says it was "shabby and well passed its use-by date", adding that with possible changes to earthquake regulations, he thought it cheaper to demolish and rebuild than to upgrade the building.
The building is almost synonymous with Lucas's. Rod Pulford, who now manages the Stratford Mountain House, says his family bought the business from Selby in the late 1960s.
He says the business sadly closed down not long after and the building was sold on after 2000.