However, this illustrates a fundamental problem for owner-managed pubs and bars. Whenever the time comes round for the current owners to retire, they have to find someone else to take it on, and there’s no guarantee that its character will be maintained , or indeed that it will remain as a pub at all. Obviously breweries and pub companies have a far from flawless track record in keeping pubs open, but at least when one licensee retires there is the opportunity to maintain continuity by installing a replacement. With the free house, every time a licensee retires or wants to leave the trade, it is put “in play”.
Only this week, there has been another example of this more locally with the Wharf in Macclesfield which, like the Laurieston, is a current Good Beer Guide entry.