Distraught ex-Cains licensees have told of their misery at losing their jobs and homes following the high-profile collapse of the company.
Twenty-four of Cains' loss-making pubs were shut by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) when the Liverpool-based brewer went into administration last month.
The company's demise has led to managers and staff at a number of the sites being made redundant with little or no notice.
A further twist came this week when ThePublican.com revealed Cains' former owners, the Dusanj brothers, had lodged a bid to buy back the business.
Les Bentham, manager at the Ship Inn in Lathom, Lancashire, was "absolutely devastated" after being made redundant and seeing his pub shut. He said owner Punch Taverns, which leased 20 of the sites to Cains, visited him just three days later to tell him to get off the premises.
Bentham, who lived in a flat on the site and had run the pub for the past six years, said: "We were told a week before to keep the pub running as best we could.
"I'm just upset at the way we were treated in the end." The pub's 17 staff have also been made redundant.
Punch offered Bentham the lease on the pub, a former Honeycombe Leisure site, but he said there was "no way" he could make it sustainable, based on the current rent.
Another manager, who ran the Ardwick, in Blackpool, said he was still in shock after being told his pub was closing leaving him homeless along with his wife and son.
The man, who did not wish to be named, said: "Within the space of four days we have lost our home and our business. We don't know where we are going to go." Punch offered him the chance to buy the pub, but he was unable to afford the outlay.
A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns, which has repossessed all 20 of its former Cains sites, said: "Punch is aware that some members of staff working at the pubs have been made redundant by the administrators of Cains.
"Although this situation is highly regrettable and we are sympathetic to their predicament, we would like to stress that these staff have at no stage been employed by Punch Taverns." She added that only six of the 20 sites are now closed, with licensees being found for the others.
Some of Cains' ex-employees have been more fortunate.
At the Strawbury Duck in Entwistle, Lancashire, manager David O'Shea and most of his staff have been retained by the new owners who took over within a day of the pub being shut. "We are some of the lucky ones," he said.
David Chubb, joint administrator of Cains and a PwC partner, said: "We understand how distressing any administration and redundancy process is for employees.
"We always do our best to ensure the process is handled as sensitively as is possible under the circumstances."