I had heard two vastly differing rumours recently while it was still open: that it had been bought by two Portuguese sisters for cash (!) and was to become a tapas place; and that it had been bought by developers and was being turned into flats.
The former would be great; the latter, not so much. It's such a fine building I would hate for it to be destroyed.
Big Phil left years ago to take on pubs in Fitzrovia and Soho. The current staff there tell me he went on from there to set up his own place in the West Country, although they weren't clear where.
I believe the Crown was sold on by the management company Phil worked for a couple of years ago. I've looked in a couple of times since. It's busy, but the beer offer wasn't up to much, so I didn't stay.