Family pub to shut up shop

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

All too much: Soaring costs force Kent-based pub to close (Getty/ Rogan Macdonald)
All too much: Soaring costs force Kent-based pub to close (Getty/ Rogan Macdonald)

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The Wig and Gown in Dartford, Kent will shut its doors in the new year after costs doubled and footfall plummeted.

In a Facebook post the pub announced: “It’s with a heavy heart and a lot of soul searching, as a family we have decided to quit while we’re ahead and shut our doors. 

“Thank you to everyone for your support. On New Year’s Eve we are having our last hurrah with our old resident DJ R&B playing us out.” 

Customers responded with an outpouring of support on Facebook. “So sorry to hear this,” said one user, “such a great place and great people.” 

Others reminisced on their favourite memories at the site: “Yvonne pulled all the stops out for my daughter’s 21st​ party,” said one. “I can imagine it is very hard work and you have had enough, but Dartford will miss such a lovely pub,” she added. 

Pub manager Yvonne Rickards told KentOnline​ the business was “costing more and more”, and the Government had not given anyone a chance to rebuild after Covid.

Sad news

Rickards took on the lease at the Grade II-listed venue in 2018 and the pub opened to customers that June. Gender reveals, birthday parties and buffets are just a few of the events that have taken place at the venue. 

Another of the pub’s partners said:  "It is and it isn't a difficult decision to close,” KentOnline​ reported. 

They continued: "Last year's takings were double what we brought in this year. 

"We just aren't getting the people in. With the cost of living being so high, less people are going out. Our income is going down and our outgoings are going up. 

Rocketing costs

"We were alright until the cost-of-living crisis. We managed through Covid, that wasn't the problem. But now the energy bills​ have doubled. The cost of everything else has doubled. 

"There's been no Government help​ for businesses. They've cut business rates now but it was too little too late, we needed that four, five months earlier. 

"It's good to get the support and messages, it's really nice people care. But we needed the support of people coming through the door." 

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