I was in a local pub at lunchtime the other day delivering the monthly CAMRA magazine. The pub in question had a couple of free-standing racks displaying leaflets and flyers from local businesses and groups. There seemed to be a new manager who took exception to these and decided to get rid of them all saying that they were “a load of crap” and had nothing to do with the pub.
That may be the case, and it can often happen that pubs accumulate a lot of out-of-date clutter. They’re under no obligation to display commercial advertising for “wardrobe doctors” and dog-walking services. But, on the other hand, they need to recognise that they are part of a local community and antagonise customers at their peril. Allowing displays of this kind – within reason – is surely a good way of maintaining a connection with local people and creating goodwill, and this, I would say, while it does have a contemporary theme, is very much a pub for local residents rather than a destination venue.
She had to nip out and the two bar staff on duty, both similarly young and female, seemed to agree that she had gone a bit too far. “After all,” one said, “it’s not as if it’s only young people who come in here” – looking round at me, another guy standing at the bar and a couple sitting nearby, whose average age was probably well north of 60.