News

The death of the Great British Pub: How 29 boozers are closing every week to become supermarkets, DIY stores, takeaways and mosques as our favourite watering holes battle to stay afloat


The shocking scale of Britain’s pub crisis, which sees 29 boozers close every week, has been laid bare in new pictures that show how the nations’ favourite watering holes have been turned into supermarkets, DIY stores, takeaways and mosques.

According to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), countless pubs are closing every week because of sky-high energy costs and punters having less disposable cash, devastating local areas in the process. 

In Dymchurch, Kent locals once faced the prospect of losing all three of their boozers and aren’t optimistic by the future, while in Wales along the fabled Mumbles Mile which once boasted 24 different pubs now only has four.

The coastal town of Emsworth, Hampshire is sandwiched between Portsmouth and Chichester. In the Middle Ages Emsworth was a busy port, importing wine for the noble classes. Later, locals used tidal power to grind flour and the area became known for its oyster beds, boat building, rope making and brewing. 

It once boasted inns, taverns and beer houses, including a coaching inn which has served the town for more than 300 years. 

In the 1870s there were around 25 premises in the town dedicated to the sale of drink. Today only seven public houses remain.

And one of Britain’s legendary pub crawls which once boasted 24 different watering holes has shrunk to just four.

The notorious Mumbles Mile in Swansea was a hit with visiting stag and hen parties and a rite of passage for students at the city’s university.

But most of the pubs on the Mumbles Mile have now closed, victims of Covid, the economic crisis and competition from Swansea’s other infamous drinking haunt Wind Street.

Sadly, grim national figures show that these two watering holes are far from isolated cases with a heartbreaking 772 pubs shutting either permanently or temporarily between January and June last year.

Long-term closes have almost doubled with 500 reported last year compared with 251 in 2021.

The Tweeddale Arms in Tamworth, Staffordshire was once a classic pub – now it’s a Domino’s

Where the former Chequers pub stood in Bristol, now there lurks a Co-Op

You used to be able to get two pint pitchers in The King George VI pub in Filton, Bristol – but these days you’ll stroll out with a can of paint thinner 

The notorious Mumbles Mile in Swansea was a hit with visiting stag and hen parties and a rite of passage for students at the city's university. This street used to be home to The Prince of Wales pub and The Antelope

The notorious Mumbles Mile in Swansea was a hit with visiting stag and hen parties and a rite of passage for students at the city’s university. This street used to be home to The Prince of Wales pub and The Antelope

Pictured is a building which used to be the bustling local The Antelope

Pictured is a building which used to be the bustling local The Antelope

Residents in the sleepy seaside village of Dymchurch, Kent say they are looking at living in a ‘ghost town’ within a few years if their pubs can’t survive.

They feared being left high and dry last year, as three of its boozers went up for sale – with the one remaining local only open over the weekend.

The City of London, The Ocean Inn and The Ship Inn were all put on the market around the same time, leaving residents with just two options – The Hidden Treasure micro-pub, which is only open from Friday to Sunday, and the Royal British Legion venue, which is for members only.

It came as the hospitality industry was still recovering from the effects of Covid.

Two of the three pubs have since been taken over by new owners and all three are open once again.

But locals aren’t optimistic about the future of the industry.

Roofer Anthony Edwards, 68, from Greatstone, Kent, who was drinking in The Ocean Inn with his wife Linda, 66, said: ‘Beer prices keep going up and up and people cannot afford it anymore.

‘Everyone tends to stay indoors more because it’s cheaper. You can get six cans at the shop for less than a pint in the pub.

‘I appreciate the cost of running the pubs is getting higher too, and it’s having a knock-on effect on the customer.’

The grandfather-of-five blames the Covid pandemic for pubs struggling.

He said: ‘Places like this used to be packed everyday, but it’s much quieter everywhere now. All of the businesses are.

‘Covid ruined the pub industry really. It’s all down to the knock back from Covid.’

Kelly Addler, 28, from Folkestone, grew up in Dymchurch and said she has noticed pubs and shops rapidly disappearing in the village over the last couple of years.

The pregnant mother-of-one believes people can no longer afford to drink or dine out due to the rising cost-of-living.

She said: ‘You see a shop or pub pop up, you just get used to it and then it’s gone again.

‘Some of the shops round here have been shut for God knows how long. It would be nice to see something done with them.

‘I would say it’s all to do with the cost-of-living.

‘The businesses seem to have their ups and downs.

‘In summer it’s heaving, it’s crazy. But in the winter it’s like a ghost town. It’s deserted.’

The Ship Inn which was rebuilt in 1800; in 1865 and again in 20th century. In 1996 the small shop next door was incorporated in the pub which was also totally refurbished

The Ship Inn which was rebuilt in 1800; in 1865 and again in 20th century. In 1996 the small shop next door was incorporated in the pub which was also totally refurbished

The Winkworths oversaw a full refurbishment of The Ship Inn which has featured on the high street since 1800, but now serves burgers and wings as opposed to traditional pub grub

The Winkworths oversaw a full refurbishment of The Ship Inn which has featured on the high street since 1800, but now serves burgers and wings as opposed to traditional pub grub

The City of London, The Ocean Inn (pictured) and The Ship Inn were all put on the market around the same time

The City of London, The Ocean Inn (pictured) and The Ship Inn were all put on the market around the same time

The Ship Inn's owner said the cost of energy left a lot of pub landlords struggling

The Ship Inn’s owner said the cost of energy left a lot of pub landlords struggling

Carl Hufton, 43, took over as business owner at The Ship Inn in June

Carl Hufton, 43, took over as business owner at The Ship Inn in June

Anthony Edwards, 68, and Linda Edwards, 66, drinking in the Ocean View Pub

Anthony Edwards, 68, and Linda Edwards, 66, drinking in the Ocean View Pub

Kelly Addler, 28, from Folkestone, grew up in Dymchurch and said she has noticed pubs and shops rapidly disappearing in the village over the last couple of years

Kelly Addler, 28, from Folkestone, grew up in Dymchurch and said she has noticed pubs and shops rapidly disappearing in the village over the last couple of years

Carl Hufton, 43, took over as business owner at The Ship Inn in June. He said the cost of energy left a lot of pub landlords struggling.

He said: ‘I think a lot of the previous pub owners around here were worried about the energy costs last year.

‘When I first took over in June they were sky high. It was a bit of a shock.

‘They lock you in for a certain amount of time and, speaking to other business owners, you get stuck in tariffs you can’t get out of.

‘But I was able to renegotiate my energy and electricity bills and I was able to get a better deal.’

Carl, from Ashford, Kent, who has worked in the pub industry for two decades, said the recent bad weather hasn’t helped business either.

He added: ‘It’s very seasonal around here. We had a good summer. Even September was great.

‘But it’s been a difficult winter period. November was a real struggle.

‘The weather didn’t help because we had those bad storms.

‘The run up to Christmas was a little slower than I thought it would be. It was a little bit scary.

‘But there’s a feast in the famine. This week has been very promising.

‘I would say our sales should triple in the summer. When the sun is out it’s a whole different ball game.’

However Carl said he believes people are eating and drinking out less and less, due to both the cost-of-living and because Brits are getting more health conscious.

He said: ‘We don’t have regular drinkers. We tend to see people once a month rather than once a week.

‘People are 100 per cent going out less than they used to.

‘I think people tend to come out more for special occasions now.’

The City Of London Pub owners said the local businesses tend to shut up shop in winter as footfall from holidaymakers slows down

The City Of London Pub owners said the local businesses tend to shut up shop in winter as footfall from holidaymakers slows down

John Smith, 59, and Kelly Revell, 49, owners of The City of London pub

John Smith, 59, and Kelly Revell, 49, owners of The City of London pub

The 43-year-old added: ‘Customers are leaning towards quality over quantity.

‘Where the cheapest house wines used to be the bestsellers, the mid-range and premium products tend to do better nowadays.

‘Our soft drinks also do well – people are leaning towards alcohol-free options for health reasons.’

John Smith, 59, and his partner Kelly Revill, 49, took over as landlords of The City of London pub in October last year.

John, from Folkestone, who has 40 years experience in the pub industry, said the local businesses tend to shut up shop in winter as footfall from holidaymakers slows down.

But he believes the quiet months are part and parcel of running a pub on the coast.

He said: ‘Most of the shops close in January due to the weather.

‘The ice cream shops and cafes around here aren’t open yet. There’s no point ;94 them when there’s nobody around.

‘One day in January I opened from 12pm until 8pm and I only took £8 on the bar.

‘But then another day I might take in £1,000.

‘Nobody is going to come through that door if you don’t open it, so you’ve got to open it.’

John is optimistic that things will start to pick up during the school holidays and the summer months.

He said: ‘It’s been quiet because it’s a small village and the weather hasn’t been very clever, but we know summer will much busier.

‘We’ve been doing much better than we thought we would and we’re optimistic about the summer.

‘It gets better when the caravan parks open – but that’s what happens with seaside towns.

‘We’re planning on staying here for a while. We’re in it for the long-run.’

Retired aviation worker David Woodward, 74, said he's noticed a decline in pubs and businesses on the High Street in Dymchurch in recent years

Retired aviation worker David Woodward, 74, said he’s noticed a decline in pubs and businesses on the High Street in Dymchurch in recent years

Richard Bennett, 57, landlord of The Pilot, one of the surviving pubs, said: 'I've never known Mumbles to be as bad as things are right now, everyone is struggling'

Richard Bennett, 57, landlord of The Pilot, one of the surviving pubs, said: ‘I’ve never known Mumbles to be as bad as things are right now, everyone is struggling’

Although the pub is doing well a reduced bus service means his bar is often empty by 8pm

Although the pub is doing well a reduced bus service means his bar is often empty by 8pm

Retired aviation worker David Woodward, 74, said he’s noticed a decline in pubs and businesses on the High Street in Dymchurch in recent years.

The grandfather-of six, from Hythe, Kent, said: ‘You get a place open up and then it closes down again.

‘Even before Covid the High Street was starting to degenerate.

‘Then Covid made it worse because people got used to shopping online. They don’t tend to go down the High Street anymore.

‘And in terms of pubs, I think people want quality now. They only go out if they’re going to get value for their money.

‘Businesses need to start enticing people in again.’

A local amusement park worker, 56, who has lived in Dymchurch for 10 years, said people stopped drinking out for a while due to the cost-of-living, but he believes business is picking up again.

The grandfather-of-two said: ‘We did have a period of time where a lot of the independent shops were closed but at the moment there’s only one that’s vacant.

‘I think things are starting to pick up again. People were being careful with their money but energy prices are starting to come back down and that was a main concern.

‘They’re starting to creep back down so people have a bit more money to spare.’

The 56-year-old added: ‘It’s a bit of a struggle for businesses this time of year, but generally that’s weather-related.

‘Most will close over the winter because there’s not enough trade.

‘But as soon as the sun starts shining and the kids are off school, it gets busier.

‘We are lucky enough to have two holidays parks in the vicinity and they bring a lot of visitors who are here for a period of time.

‘And we have got one of the best beaches in the south east so people will always visit.’

One of Britain’s legendary pub crawls which once boasted 24 different watering holes has shrunk to just four.

The notorious Mumbles Mile in Swansea was a hit with visiting stag and hen parties and a rite of passage for students at the city’s university.

The challenge was to down an alcoholic drink in each of the licensed premises along the route, which is not actually a mile.

It could take a whole day and at today’s prices would cost participants more than £100, depending on their tipple.

But most of the pubs on the Mumbles Mile have now closed, victims of Covid, the economic crisis and competition from Swansea’s other infamous drinking haunt Wind Street.

Richard Bennett, 57, landlord of The Pilot, one of the surviving pubs, said: ‘I’ve never known Mumbles to be as bad as things are right now, everyone is struggling.

‘Most of the pubs have closed and the ones left open are up for sale.

‘I feel a bit hypocritical because when we were younger my wife and I would do the Mumbles Mile and enjoy it.

‘But it’s gone now and most people here wouldn’t want it back.’

A mural left behind in honour of nightclub Cinderella's

A mural left behind in honour of nightclub Cinderella’s

The severely fire damaged Copperfish restaurant that once used to be Cinderella's nightclub

The severely fire damaged Copperfish restaurant that once used to be Cinderella’s nightclub

A fire broke out at the former site in 2022 and spread throughout the complex

A fire broke out at the former site in 2022 and spread throughout the complex

Mr Bennett, who reopened the seafront pub with wife Jo 11 years ago said it’s become a community hub for locals who are mostly of retirement age.

He brews his own real ale and says although the pub is doing well a reduced bus service in Mumbles means his bar is often empty by 8pm.

‘Even so, we don’t miss the hen dos and stag nights,’ said Mr Bennett. ‘The area fell into disrepute because of the Mumbles Mile, it’s quieter but better now.’

The starting point for the pub crawl was the White Rose, still a busy pub especially during Six Nations rugby matches, in full swing at the moment.

Three veterans of the Mumbles Mile, all now in their sixties, call in four times a week for ‘a quiet pint’.

Dave Martins, 60, a retired toolmaker from Mumbles, said: ‘I’ve done it hundreds of times, it was the thing to do back in the day.

The starting point for the pub crawl was the White Rose, still a busy pub especially during Six Nations rugby matches, in full swing at the moment

The starting point for the pub crawl was the White Rose, still a busy pub especially during Six Nations rugby matches, in full swing at the moment

Flats where previously The Famous Bear pub stood - one of the biggest pubs in Mumbles. It closed in 2006 and the site was demolished

Flats where previously The Famous Bear pub stood – one of the biggest pubs in Mumbles. It closed in 2006 and the site was demolished

‘It started to decline a few years ago and now it’s become a thing of the past.

‘The pubs have gone, been turned into flats or coffee shops – the character has changed. The Mumbles Mile is now the Mumbles 200 yards.’

Retired painter and decorator Russell Jones, 68, said: ‘I would do it every Saturday starting at the West Cross Inn and ending at Cinderella’s nightclub on the pier.

‘I’d have a half pint in each of the pubs and bars along the way. It’s gone now, it’s terrible.’

Retired care home manager Brian Tabram, 69, said: ‘We were local but the Mumbles Mile brought in a lot of visitors, especially from the Valleys.

‘There would be coach parties for hen and stag nights – that’s all gone.’

Locals say Mumbles has been hit by the opening of clubs and bars two miles away in Swansea’s Wind Street, a pedestrianised area and a safer environment for anyone who’s had too much to drink.

Waterloo Stores previously known as The William Hancock goes back over 160 years

Waterloo Stores previously known as The William Hancock goes back over 160 years

The Dark Horse was once known as Nag's Head, and before that The Oystercatcher in the 70s

The Dark Horse was once known as Nag’s Head, and before that The Oystercatcher in the 70s

Nishimura was previously known as The Village Inn was a part of the famous pub crawl

Nishimura was previously known as The Village Inn was a part of the famous pub crawl

But the memories of the Mumbles Mile still linger on and locals love listing the pubs along the route, most of them now gone.

Carer Tanya Hewson, 52, said: ‘I did it once, I’m not even sure I was old enough to drink at the time. It was a massive thing to have a drink in all the pubs along the way, most of them now gone.

‘We would start at six or seven in the evening and make our way to the Pier. We’d start off on pints, then halves.

‘There were two pubs, The Toby and The Salty, you’d have a drink in each before going into Cinderellas.

‘We would get coach loads coming here but because of the amount of alcohol there was a bit of trouble. We don’t get that here any more.

‘The pubs have gone and been replaced by independent shops and cafes, the character of The Mumbles has changed.’

Swansea university graduate Rhiannon Jones, 48, said: ‘I remember doing the Mile in my pyjamas with all my housemates from uni.

‘They were good times but people’s drinking habits have changed and no one does the Mumbles Mile any more. I’m going there to watch the Ireland V Wales game on Saturday with friends but we’ll only go to one pub all day.’

In all cases the effects on local areas when pubs close is disastrous. 

But while hundreds of pubs call time, dozens of businesses and ventures have spotted opportunities to make a profit themselves.

A series of before and after photographs have set out the startling changes which have been made to once beloved watering holes.

The Anchor Inn in Tamworth, Staffs., was once a popular riverside pub and featured on many enthusiast guides.

Locals say the pub closed around 2008 but despite re-opening the following year, the writing was on the wall and the boozer shut for good in 2015.

Today the white-washed walls and pitched roof of the original pub remains intact but it has been converted into a Co-operative supermarket.

Down the road from the former Anchor Inn used to be the Tweeddale Arms pub and bed and breakfast, famed for its real ales and home-cooked food.

However, the pub also closed due to falling footfall and changing drinking habits and it is now a Domino’s pizza takeaway.

More and more old pubs are being converted into new ventures, with a record 101 being transformed between January and June last year.

One such pub in Bristol was the imposing King George VI pub in Filton.

Due to its location on, it became a firm favourite with locals, office workers and locals until it closed for the final time in 2011.

Last orders at the Bell were heard long ago, now the old boozer is a Tesco

The Endwood used to be a lively Birmingham boozer and now its the Masjid-E-Quba & Community Centre

The Old Royal Oak pub in Leeds is now a takeaway named Al Baba 

Now punters can order pots of paint instead of pints of beer after the pub was turned into a paint shop, ironically named ‘Brewers’.

Another pub to be reinvented is The Bell in the St George suburb of the city which had its taps replaced for tills after becoming a Tesco Express.

In nearby St Pauls, the iconic Prince of Wales pub now offers more wholesome refreshments after it turned into a trendy coffee house.

Plummeting profits sealed the fate of The Chequers pub in Kingswood and it eventually closed in 2010, only to be reopened as another Co-op supermarket.

Following the trend, the much-loved The Foresters permanently closed in 2012 and transformed into a Tesco Express.

Meanwhile drinkers in the Handsworth area of Birmingham will have to quench their thirst elsewhere after the historic The Endwood pub pulled its last pint in 2013 and was converted into a mosque and Islamic Education centre.

In nearby Small Heath, Birmingham, the former Brighton Arms used to a cherished boozer part of a local pub crawl route.

However, the pub shut in 2015 and the historic building is now home to a new multi-cuisine restaurant.

Down the road in Worcester the former Barley Mow building lost its traditional white paint for a striking matte black front after it was transformed into the Piri Co restaurant.

The Grade II listed building was once a thriving part of local life in Sidbury, Worcs., but it closed in 2006 after severe flood damage.

In Plymouth a demand for housing saw the Falcon pub cease trading in 2013 and its building turned into residential homes just a few months later.

Just a 100 miles north of the Falcon, the Windmill pub in Bristol was also converted to residential homes back in 2020.

English pubs were the worst hit with 56 permanent closures between January and June 2023, compared to two in Scotland two and three in Wales.

Despite favourite pubs being lost, 127 new pubs opened in the first half of last year, which is still down from 179 in the six months before.

In Small Heath, Birmingham, the former Brighton Arms used to a cherished boozer part of a local pub crawl route, but now its a restaurant 

The Wheatshef used to be one of Nottingham’s premier pubs – but now its a McDonalds 

In a statement, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona blamed a ‘perfect storm’ buffeting the UK pub industry.

He said: ‘Simultaneous economic crises have meant that pubs, social clubs and taprooms are balancing on a crumbling cliff edge, with too many already lost to the abyss.

‘CAMRA is always concerned when pubs could be lost to the communities they serve, be it through demolition or conversion to other usage, such as offices or housing.

‘It is vital that these venues are marketed as going concerns and everything possible is done to secure their future as community pubs – including giving existing licensees first refusal of buying their pub.

‘Pubs are struggling to survive against a perfect storm of issues, such as spiralling costs of goods and rising energy bills – meaning that our much-loved locals are at risk of disappearing forever unless meaningful support is given to both publicans and pubgoers.’

CAMRA are now urging the Government to use the upcoming budget to halt the closure of pubs.

Nik added: ‘To put a stop to permanent closures of pubs CAMRA are urging the Government to announce a tax cut on pints in pubs by 20 percent at the upcoming Spring Budget, which would help them compete with the likes of supermarkets and the off-trade.

‘This would significantly help UK’s pubs to stay open and thrive as community spaces in the future.’ 

However, there are some areas of the country that have bucked the trend.

An affluent South Coast town is beating the odds with eight pubs in a half mile of each other bucking the national trend and keeping the pints flowing.

Indian Restaurant, Spice Village, occupies the building on the town square that was originally the 18th century Black Dog, which closed in 2006

Indian Restaurant, Spice Village, occupies the building on the town square that was originally the 18th century Black Dog, which closed in 2006

Pub-goers can go to The Lord Raglan, before The Ship Inn, JJ and Johnny's (pictured), The Coal Exchange and The Blue Bell and finally The Crown Inn and The King's Arms

Pub-goers can go to The Lord Raglan, before The Ship Inn, JJ and Johnny’s (pictured), The Coal Exchange and The Blue Bell and finally The Crown Inn and The King’s Arms

The Coal Exchange, South St, Emsworth, became a pub in 1961

The Coal Exchange, South St, Emsworth, became a pub in 1961

The Blue Bell Inn, South St, Emsworth, is one of the pubs beating the odds

The Blue Bell Inn, South St, Emsworth, is one of the pubs beating the odds

Pub owners in Emsworth, near Portsmouth, Hants, have been left wondering they have stumbled across a ‘little gem in the world’ where all can happily co-exist.

The town boasts eight ‘old school’ boozers which people flock from as far as London to to enjoy pub crawls and the different atmospheres on offer at each.

Starting at The Sussex Brewery, visitors can enjoy stopping at no less than seven more pubs on a half mile stretch (1056 yards) of road through Emsworth.

Pub-goers can look forward to The Lord Raglan, before The Ship Inn, JJ and Johnny’s, The Coal Exchange and The Blue Bell and finally The Crown Inn and The King’s Arms.

Over the years the area sadly lost The Town Brewery, which has been since been converted to offices and Fairfield, which is now used as a pre-school nursery.

Indian Restaurant, Spice Village, occupies the building on the town square that was originally the 18th century Black Dog.

The Seagull, Milkman’s Arms and The Mill Pond have been replaced by residential housing, flats and a Bed and Breakfast, respectively.

The Fairfield pub, which is now used as a pre-school nursery
The Fairfield pub, which is now used as a pre-school nursery

The Fairfield pub, which is now used as a pre-school nursery

This building used to function as the Town Brewery in 1847 before becoming a blacksmith in 1871 has now been converted to offices

The most recent loss was The Railway Inn, which closed in 2020.

However, optimism runs high with those that remain.

Blake McLaughlin, 56, took over The Crown Inn on the high street in mid 2020, during the height of Covid.

However, he said life in charge of the Grade II listed boozer has been excellent.

‘It’s been fabulous – it’s busy all the time’ he said.

He admitted while rent had gone up everywhere along with utilities, he was feeling the pinch less with the price of beer due to the sheer amount he orders.

‘I do so much beer that my beer price has actually gone down,’ he said.

‘Electricity is killing me a little bit, but nothing else is.’

Mr McLaughlin, originally from Los Angeles, moved to Emsworth six years ago but loves his new home.

‘Little by little, the number of pubs has whittled itself down,’ he added.

‘At the minute it’s now eight of us who can survive.

‘There’s enough of the pie for everyone.’

However, Mr McLaughlin revealed he doesn’t see the recent closure of rival establishments as good, but instead actually detrimental to the town’s success.

‘We need everyone to survive to bring people to Emsworth,’ he said.

‘We can’t survive with just Emsworth locals – that will kill us all.’

The owner of The Crown Inn said life in charge of the Grade II listed boozer has been excellent

The owner of The Crown Inn said life in charge of the Grade II listed boozer has been excellent

Originally named the Three Crowns, the now-hotel became the Crown in 1788

Originally named the Three Crowns, the now-hotel became the Crown in 1788

Blake McLaughlin, 56, owner of The Crown Inn, High St, Emsworth

Blake McLaughlin, 56, owner of The Crown Inn, High St, Emsworth

He said pub-goers often take the swift 76 minute train down from London to visit, as well as those taking cabs or trains from the more nearby Chichester, Portsmouth or Havant.

Phil Atfield, who was enjoying a morning pint, agreed.

The 69 year old said although his hometown had lost pubs, he still had plenty to choose from.

‘About 14 pubs, down to eight, all within walking distance – you can’t moan at that,’ the retired leisure marine industry worker said.

‘For a large village, or small town, whatever you want to call it, that’s not bad.’

Becky Williams-Prios has been working behind bars in Emsworth for two decades and revealed the recent hike in electricity has seen the bills jump from £1,500 to £3,000 in a month.

The 43 year old said: ‘The nice thing about Emsworth is every pub is so different.

‘People come and do a pub crawl.

‘Everyone is offering such a different environment and that’s part of the fun.

‘I do see people just navigating from pub to pub.

Phil Atfield, 69, in The Crown Inn, who said although his hometown had lost pubs, he still had plenty to choose from

Phil Atfield, 69, in The Crown Inn, who said although his hometown had lost pubs, he still had plenty to choose from

On pub attendance, she added: ‘It’s a really difficult one to explain.

‘You tend to find you’ve got a lot of the older generation and the uni lot who come back in the holidays.

‘But that middle section – those younger families with kids – they aren’t out as much.

Beth and Crawford Winkworth added to this, claiming part of Emsworth’s charm was the number of different pubs on offer.

The couple, who previously ran a nightclub in Bognor before taking over in November 2022, were not put off by the competition because how individual each one is.

‘I’m quite surprised how well the pubs are doing,’ Mrs Winkworth, 30, said.

The Winkworths oversaw a full refurbishment of The Ship Inn which has featured on the high street since 1800, but now serves burgers and wings as opposed to traditional pub grub.

Mr Winkworth, 46, said: ‘We do sometimes think, Jesus Christ, we have taken over a pub – what are we doing?’

‘This is such a small place to have this many pubs.

‘I don’t know if we’ve found a little gem in the world where people just come.

‘If there was two pubs here I don’t think people would come.

The Lord Raglan, Queen St, Emsworth, has had several different owners in the last few years

The Lord Raglan, Queen St, Emsworth, has had several different owners in the last few years

‘We get people coming here on a Friday or Saturday, where they’ve come from their local pub out to a smaller two just because ‘we know your pub’s good’ which is quite a big compliment.

‘People say you are guaranteed a good night out in Emsworth.

His wife added: ‘We all just share customers.

‘There’s staff drinking in each other’s pubs, no clique-iness.

Barman Tom, who didn’t want to give his surname, works at The Lord Raglan and recently moved from Brighton, East Sussex.

‘They’re all old school pubs here -it’s nice,’ he said.

‘This has had a few different owners in the last three years but the new ones are good.’

Chris Young took over The Sussex Brewery in July 2023.

‘It’s been fun,’ he said.

‘You’ve got to create an environment that is warm and welcoming with good food and drink.

‘It’s a locals’ pub and it’s about growing that network.

The Sussex Brewery, where  visitors can enjoy stopping at no less than seven more pubs on a half mile stretch (1056 yards) of road through Emsworth, has survived

The Sussex Brewery, where  visitors can enjoy stopping at no less than seven more pubs on a half mile stretch (1056 yards) of road through Emsworth, has survived

‘The locals go to all the pubs here really – we’ve got to be doing something right.’

‘I think there’s other sectors which are suffering more than pubs, like retail.

‘That had been hit more than food and beverage.

‘People can’t justify spending money on something that is expensive but people like to socialise, have a drink and get some food.’

However, in the last 20 years, the small coastal town has lost several pubs.

Over the years the area sadly lost The Town Brewery, which has been since been converted to offices and Fairfield, which is now used as a pre-school nursery.

The Seagull, Milkman’s Arms and The Mill Pond have been replaced by residential housing, flats and a Bed and Breakfast, respectively.

The most recent loss was The Railway Inn, which closed in 2020.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button