Where’s the pub?

In the news today I read two items that made me think about the state of UK pubs and drinking. The first story is about 52 pubs closing a week in the UK and the second story about alcohol hotspots targeted – namely Romford town centre, which is about 20 minutes drive away.  I think these two stories are connected. Twenty-odd years ago when I was in that 16-24 age group and going out drinking, most of the places to go out to were either to local pubs or into London (about 30 mins drive). There was always pubs that catered, intentionally or unintentionally, for the young drinkers who would spend lots on a Friday and Saturday night, but most of these pubs were miles apart from each other. Occasionally we would all go to a pub that was a good drive away in the middle of nowhere. This meant, even though there was the occasional fight between two drunken lads, there was never that big group of drunk people all leaving about ten different pubs and bars at the same time.

So, with local traditional pubs shutting at an alarming rate and new high street bar chains opening instead then the problem with trouble from drunken young people in towns will rise. It seems logical to me but as usual councils just want to fill the empty shops and collect taxes from these businesses. As to why traditional pubs are closing could be down to anything: the recession, the smoking ban, the cost of a drink. Most pubs have to have restaurants nowadays to keep afloat but to me that can’t be a bad thing. The next thing that could really help pubs is for them to expand their drinking menus to include cocktails but at reasonable prices. Most pubs have the spirits but lack the knowledge to make them or they don’t want to make them.  Maybe I should join the Save Our Pubs campaign, if there is one that is.

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