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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
lady penelope BS: Pubs in Britain (44) RE: BS: Pubs in Britain 30 Jul 08

Pubs haven't suddenly started closing down due to the smoking ban. Go back 5 years and you will still see plenty of evidence that pubs were already well in decline.

WLD has the right of it. People, whether they smoke or not, simply do not use pubs the way they used to. Nor do pubs provide a service the way they used to.

Large pubs, like the ones Wetherspoons creates, tend to large throngs of people out for a bit of a party. They sell cut price booze which encourages groups to drink competatively and also appeals to younger groups of drinkers who may not have figured out that you don't have to be paralytic to enjoy yourselves. This atmosphere of general rowdyness has driven out those who want to go out for a quiet drink, talk to a couple of mates and generally relax.

Some other pubs have gone down the 'gastro pub' route. But this has often meant that you end up with a pub that's really a restaurant. For example. The Royal Forester at Chingford. It has always served food (and good stuff too normally) but over the last year all the bar space has been given over to food service. Because people are going there to eat and not drink, the selection of beers has become dire. One ale (the most god forsaken version of Tetley's they could have come up with) and everything else is lager.

Other pubs went the route of 'sports bar'. Well, here's the thing. Although many people like sports, a lot of them don't want to go to a pub, spend out a large amount of dosh on beer and then listen to four blokes in football shirts shout at the 4 by 6 foot screen that takes up half the bar. Sports bars have limited appeal and the 'local' pubs that have adopted this ethos have reaped the reward by losing revenue in the long term. As people who either don't like sports, or have no wish to drink in that environment, have gone elsewhere.

And then there's the cost. To buy a pint of beer in London can cost anything between 1.90 (if you're really lucky...) to well in excess of 3. This also applies to non - alcoholic drinks. And this on top of a dreadful selection - usually J2O drinks, which are vile and far too sugary for me, very few pubs sell non 'gun' coke and lemonade which only tastes ok with large amounts of alcohol in it and there's only so much orange juice any one being can drink in an evening. Why is it so hard to get a decent cup of tea or coffee in pubs?

Considering high prices, an often poor choice of beers, often in poor condition and having to put up with an environment they find non conducive to a pleasant evening, punters will start to get the hump.

Definitely time for a re-think.

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