Soaring costs force independent pub to reduce hours

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Axed hours: The Rising Sun has been open for nine years (Credit: Getty/ South_agency)
Axed hours: The Rising Sun has been open for nine years (Credit: Getty/ South_agency)

Related tags Finance Hampshire

One of Winchester’s last independent pubs has been forced to cut down trading hours due to the ever-increasing costs of business.

The Rising Sun in Hampshire will now be closed on Tuesdays and will operate at a reduced schedule throughout the rest of the week.

A spokesperson made the announcement on social media. They said: “It's not a decision we have taken lightly and are doing it in the best interest of the business. There simply isn't the trade to run the earlier hours as things currently stand.

The pub’s all-day Happy Hour promotion has now come to an end, but it has been replaced with Happy Hour every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3pm to 4pm.

The spokesperson continued: “We have a fantastic manager in the pub at the moment who is doing a great job, and hopefully these measures will only be temporary and the pub will be able to return to its former glory.

Nine years pouring pints

“We are one of the last standing, original independents left in Winchester now and are proud to have been at the Rising Sun for nine years now.

“It's not easy going at it alone with no brewery to fall back on but with your support we can make it through the hard times and see it out the other side.

“Myself and all the team appreciate your understanding on this matter and thank you wholeheartedly for your continued support.”

Owner Rob Plunton, 37, told The Daily Echo:​ “It’s the gas and electric that’s killed us off. We started take away food which kept us going throughout Covid but with the new gas contract we’ve had to stop cooking.”

The Daily Echo​ reported that the pub has been hit with soaring gas and electric bills, increasing from £300 to £2,000 a month without use of the kitchen.

In need of a miracle

Plunton said the pub would need a “miracle” to stay open and closure was on the cards.

Some 21 pubs​ a week closed or lost their licenses between July and December last year, according to figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

In April, a micropub bracing for energy bills to soar to nearly £12,000 has lambasted energy companies for “unfairly profiteering” from hiked prices.

Mark Bates has run the Three B’s micropub​​ in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, with his wife Cheryl for three years. But he feared the business would not be able to survive amid climbing costs.

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