I recently reported the unexpected closure of the Baker’s Vaults in Stockport. While Robinson’s brewery have stated their intention to find new tenants and reopen it, it still remains firmly closed.
I can think of a few other pubs that are currently closed, but which I would confidently expect to reopen eventually. But the question has to be asked whether this is actually a good business strategy. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep the place open with a temporary licensee, even at a reduced level of service?
Many pubs have regulars who are in several days a week, who might well be sent elsewhere by a prolonged period of closure, or find that staying in isn’t that bad after all. And, for those pubs that people need to make a special journey to visit, one experience of finding it closed may deter them permanently.
It has also, from experience, often been the case that alternating periods of closure and opening under new licensees have been a harbinger of permanent closure. If a pub closed, opened again, then closed once more, I wouldn’t hold out much hope. It suggests dubious long-term viability.
So it must be a declaration of confidence in the future of a pub if its owners keep it going even under difficult and unexpected circumstances, which may reap dividends in the future.