This provocative article on Sp!ked by Nathalie Rothschild is bound to ruffle a few feathers: A place where nobody knows your name - as Britain’s dark, smoky, friendly pubs close down, the anti-pub - the JD Wetherspoon - is taking their place.
That the chain is marching on in these credit-crunched times signals not a healthy growth of public houses, but the relentless rise of the anti-pub, which is a suck-up to, and a beneficiary of, our unhealthily killjoy times.And, as I posted here, I broadly agree. Wetherspoon’s are soulless, corporate eating and drinking barns – they are not real pubs.
The rise of JD Wetherspoon parallels the slow but steady decline of authentic, grimy, smoky, welcoming, rowdy and unruly real pubs. There’s nothing wrong with family-friendly cheap eateries, but publicans and their customers should be allowed to relax, to sing and talk loudly to friends and strangers, play games, misbehave and drink if they want to.