'Support your local’ says licensee as pub shuts doors

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Devastated: Sector is going downhill warns operator after his site closes (Getty/anchiy)
Devastated: Sector is going downhill warns operator after his site closes (Getty/anchiy)

Related tags Finance Property Suffolk

Suffolk pub the Smokehouse at the Chequers in Eriswell closed for good on 26 February due to “many issues”, but reactions from guests have been a mixed bag.

This comes after new research​​ from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) revealed some 21 pubs closed or lost their licences per week between July and December last year. 

In a Facebook post, the pub management said they were “devastated” to announce the news. 

“I’d like to thank all of our loyal customers for all your support, we have had many issues going on which hasn’t helped us,” they added. 

The statement continued: “All we can say is please support your local pubs! They need you! It’s so sad that the pub industry is going down hill! We hope to see you all soon before we shut!” 

Some customers rallied to social media in support for the pub, with one “so very sorry” to hear the sad news, and another calling trips to the pub their “weekly treat”. Others lamented the loss of “the best burgers they’d ever had”. 

Varied response

However, others were “not surprised” by the announcement. Customers complained of poor customer service and “clueless and unprofessional” staff.   

The pub ran a limited menu for four days after the announcement before closing for takeaways.  

Management said they were working on rehoming the Smokehouse and needed to rent a kitchen. They had been looking at pubs that did not use their kitchens.  

“No one uses the pub and with everything going on it can’t continue,” the spokesperson added. 

CAMRA’s pub closure statistics showed 554 pubs became classed as ‘long term closures’ during the last six months of 2022, meaning the sites had gone out of business or were standing forever empty without new tenants. 

High stakes

Top 50 Cocktail Bars​ the Pineapple Club in Birmingham and Nottingham-based site Cottonmouth both announced they would close for good in this week. 

Britain’s most southerly pub the Witchball, on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall, was also recently forced to shut its doors​ after factors impacting the sector made it “impossible” to maintain the establishment. 

The British Beer & Pub Association warned without a plan for sustainable growth the Government would risk losing the country’s pubs​​ and breweries forever. 

The Smokehouse served lagers and spirits from local suppliers along with cocktails and craft beers. Its food menu offered a range of burgers made from scratch, including a Pulled Pork Stack Burger and a Chilli Stack Burger. Dogs were also welcome at the venue. 

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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