Last last orders for 52 UK pubs a week

22 July 2009

Okay, we’ll start this one with an opening line you’d expect to hear on the ITV Evening News or The One Show…

More and more landlords are shouting ‘last orders’ for the final time as the number of pub closures in Britain increases by the week.

There. That felt good. Apart from the stuff about all the pubs closing. But if they’re shit ones, who really cares?

New stats show that pubs were closing at a rate of 52 a week in the first half of this year, with smaller communities like Emmerdale affected by the closures. However, continental café-type bars are opening at a rate of two a week, and pubs that serve food are more likely to survive in the current climate.

Factors blamed for the pub slump include increased alcohol taxes, the smoking ban, that thing about sitting around at home in your pants and drinking alone becoming cool, the recession (obviously) and there being loads of shit-hot stuff on Bitterwallet to read all the time instead of going out.

So then, the pubs and that. Do you frequent them as much as you used to? If not why not? And how? And when? Mmm? Eh?

Just like The One Show wasn't it? Textbook.

TOPICS:   Economy

11 comments

  • Dave S.
    All hail the Big Steak pub, the decent pub is dead (Or almost dead...)
  • Inactive
    The smoking ban is killing off the pubs, nothing else. We are left with a few pubs now that look more like kindergartens, oh and a few more that serve up microwaved crap. Village life is dying.
  • Tom P.
    Kill all the Weatherspoon pubs, nothing but old fuckers sitting there from 9 am in the morning till late at night...and stick some load music on, that'll shift them
  • bulkomuff
    Wetherspoons actually and hearty congratulations to Tim for his business model and ability to sell booze at excellent prices that enable working class folk to go out of an evening and not spend the weeks housekeeping on a few rounds of drinks! I have no sympathy whatsoever for all the landlords shutting their doors for good and blaming everything else other than themselves. Drop your drinks prices and the punters will come back in their droves you idiots.
  • Jack
    Difficult one really, partly due to the recession so you can get a few cans in instead, partly due to the smoking ban. The tax on a pint should at least be frozen. Some of these pubs really do need to move on and improve though, market it to your local area, and make changes to suit it. Happy hours, bottle offers, music and things to do (machines / pool / darts / poker) will bring people in!!!
  • Chris F.
    it's the breweries and the like that are killing pubs, i've seen it first hand. landlords have their hands tied regarding prices, unless they own a freehold (which is getting rarer and rarer in this day and age), they get charged a fortune in rent, get hit with massive fines if they buy stock from outwith the brewery and approved wholesalers and basically get it in the neck when it comes to price increases enforced by the government. i agree landlords CAN do a lot to keep their business afloat, but they don't get any help at all from those who own their premises.
  • Bwah h.
    To Chris F: Landlord take the lease. They know they have to pay rent and they know they have a beer tie. How can they then complain they have to pay rent and have to buy beer through the tie?
  • Chris F.
    it's not the complaints, it's the way the breweries seem to hike the prices per barrel. it's very easy for someone to come out and say 'landlords should cut their prices' but the sad matter of the fact is that it isn't that simple, and a vast majority of them can't afford to. wetherspoons etc can pull it off because they sell in such great volume, they can buy the beer in bulk (and quite often when it's close to it's 'best before' date), don't have a brewery penalising them for not ordering as much beer as the brewery estimates they should (a common practice). frankly, it's getting to the point where i think a lot of the major breweries would be glad to see just about every single pub in britain that isn't part of a chain, or in a city centre, shut so they can instead concentrate on flogging their booze to supermarkets.
  • ibiza
    Drinking at home is far more sociable. The prices are better. The toilets are cleaner, and don;t smell of lager. The measures are larger. You wont get ripped off getting a taxi home. If you are nice to the waitress - sexual favours invariably come free too. And its not like in the pub, where a crowd always gathers to watch.
  • Kevin
    The prices the breweries are charging are mental I agree but with all of these stories there seems to be the assumed fact that this is a bad thing. Yes for the people that will be unemployed etc but really maybe we just have far too many pubs? Don't assume we always need to stay the same. There are certainly lots of places where there are too many pubs
  • Eddie
    The smoking ban has got nothing to do with pubs closures and neither does the accusation of supermarkets selling cheap beer. The real culprit is greedy financial groups who buy the pubs and then control the prices by dictating where to buy the stock (generally via a source which they also own) - it's all about profit ! If they don't arrive at the expected profit margin then they sell up and move their money into something else. They do not care whether the pubs die or not. But, by comparison, look at privately owned pubs and those that are still owned by family run breweries. Low prices, good quality, traditional atmosphere. Places where pubs games are still played and the places looks like a pub not a puffy wine bar or grotty watering hole. There is also the fact that the younger generation are not interested in beer but tend more towards drugs. The older and wiser generation can't afford to socialise as much as they'd like due to low incomes (in certain areas) and high outgoings - internet, Sky TV, mobile phone contracts, etc etc.

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