There’s an interesting article here from Jason Smith about the decline and fall of the British pub. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says – surely he exaggerates the social stratification in 1950s pubs – but broadly speaking he is right in saying that pubs have lost their social purpose. He concludes:
At the moment, pubs are over-regulated, unprofitable, sterile and – apart from selling drink – lack a function. In the light of these many problems, the only thing that is shocking about pub closures to date is that there have been so few.I have commented before on how many pubs seem to be running on empty and are only still in existence because they have been in the past – if they didn’t exist, nobody would consider opening a pub or bar where they stand.