Friday, 18 January 2008

Apocalypse now

Some very pointed, but sadly all too true, comments here from Pete Robinson about the depressingly high number of pub closures taking place at the moment. This is happening all over the country, yet, as he says, the national media have so far been surprisingly quiet about it – possibly because few commentators get a view of the trade outside a limited number of areas they regularly visit.

Obviously there are a number of factors at work here, including:

(a) the wet summer
(b) the economic downturn
(c) negative publicity about “binge drinking”
(d) the unrealistic expectations of pub companies

However, there can be little doubt that the smoking ban is what has pushed many once-thriving pubs over the cliff.

It has now gone way beyond just a few marginal or struggling pubs closing their doors. At the current rate of attrition, the pattern of licensed trade that we have been familiar with for thirty years will before too long be a thing of the past.

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