Nosedive in trade forces inn closure

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

New Year closure: Pub shuts down due to cost pressures (Getty/ Emely)
New Year closure: Pub shuts down due to cost pressures (Getty/ Emely)

Related tags Hampshire Finance

Hampshire-based pub the Roebuck Inn has closed after suffering a significant drop in trade.

The pub in Winchester said a plummet in trade and increase in running costs due to the cost-of-living crisis and Covid repercussions had forced the pub to cease trading.  

A spokesperson said trade was considerably lower than expectations in the last third of the year and the forecast for Q1 and Q2 for 2023 was very poor, which makes the business unviable in its current form. 

“We would like to thank all our staff and customers who have supported us through Covid and the current energy and cost crisis,” they said, “and can only apologise to everyone that this decision has had to be made.  

“We wish you a happy 2023." 

This comes after research by The Morning Advertiser​ revealed more than 70% of operators did not expect to make it through the winter without Government intervention.  

Difficult times

More than 65% said they’d seen their utility costs increase by more than 100%, meanwhile 30% reported a jump of 200% and 8% reported increases of more than 500%. Nearly 80% of operators said they could not afford the increase in energy costs. 

A number of operators also announced they would close sites before Christmas. Last month the Wig and Gown​ in Dartford, Kent announced it would close 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.”  

Mass closure

JD Wetherspoon​ also permanently shut a pub on New Year’s Eve and will close down two more early this year. 

The move follows recent announcements by the managed pubs and hotels operator that it has placed 39 pubs on the market. 

The three sites set to shut are the Edmund Halley, in Lewisham, south London, which will close its doors on 31 December 2022; the Postal Order, in Worcester, set to serve its last pint on 9 January 2023; and the Willow Grove, in Southport, Merseyside, with an unconfirmed closure sate in early 2023. Further locations are reportedly set to close. 

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