The man behind the PoundPub concept says the model, targeted at “daytime drinkers”, proved a hit during a pilot in Greater Manchester.
Mike Wardell said he has two openings planned - one in Atherton and one in Stockton - and that he would not rule out expanding his budget booze offer across the country.
The first PoundPub is due to open next month in the former mid-market pub Georgia Browns in Stockton high street. It is currently seeking a licence variation to sell aclcohol from 8am.
The pub is owned by hotel, pub and leisure company Here for Your Hospitality, which operates across the north east and Manchester.
Director Mr Wardell said: “The idea is to offer a no-frills, value for money pub. We will be offering a half-pint of Fosters for £1 with a pint £1.50. But we will also have your non-alcoholic drinks like Becks Blue for £1 a bottle. We are aiming to have three cask ales on with prices upwards of £1.50 a pint.
Mr Wardell insisted the model had been fully tested during the four-month Atherton pilot, although without branding, and had driven the pub’s most succesful December in three years.
He said: “Our target market is the daytime drinker and we were very successful in attracting that type of customer.
“We found that when we trialled this other pubs quickly started copying our model but soon gave up.
“We have a great relationship with our suppliers so we can get a good price. The margins are tight but we make economies on things like not having Sky TV.
“What was clear to us was that there was a demand for this. And we’re ready to supply that.”
Asked whether this was a model that would only work in the north of England Mr Wardell said: “We aren’t looking at the south at the moment because we don’t have premises there but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work there. We’ll have to see.”
Stockton councillors have been quick to criticise the plan and their reservations are shared by Balance - the regional alcohol office for the north east.
Colin Shevills, director of Balance. said: “It’s sad that people are looking to put profit above the health and wellbeing of the public by aiming to sell alcohol in bulk at such low prices. It’s of no benefit to anyone other than the alcohol industry and it’s setting a dangerous precedent.
“We know that price drives consumption and selling a pint of lager for £1.50 means a man can drink his daily allowance for less than £3. Unfortunately it appears that these prices are targeted specifically at the more cost conscious, vulnerable people in our communities such as heavy drinkers and young people. This is completely irresponsible, particularly as the North East already suffers from some of the highest rates of alcohol harms.”