EXCLUSIVE

Support an Independent Pub Day launched

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Support an Independent Pub Day: London Pub Explorer urges people to support their local pub in the face of challenging economic headwinds (Pictured: Tuesday Roberts at the Northcote Arms)
Support an Independent Pub Day: London Pub Explorer urges people to support their local pub in the face of challenging economic headwinds (Pictured: Tuesday Roberts at the Northcote Arms)

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The London Pub Explorer has launched ‘Support an Independent Pub Day’ in a bid to raise awareness of challenges and closures across the hospitality sector.

Alistair Von Lion, also known as the London Pub Explorer, has urged people to come together to support independent pubs on Saturday 10 February, in the wake of dry January.

Von Lion told The Morning Advertiser he decided to launch the commemorative day after speaking with publicans in London and hearing first hand the “difficulties” they faced.

In addition, the pub explorer detailed how “hamstrung” many businesses were in the face of inflationary pressures, labour shortages and rising costs across the board.

Scratching an existence 

“The big boys can weather that storm. [Independent] pubs are just scratching an existence. It's really difficult and no-one is listening.

“I love supporting [local businesses], otherwise we will become a faceless and monotonous UK, which we're almost there, unfortunately”, he added.

Von Lion will invite his 35k followers on Instagram to participate in the event and share their experiences supporting independent pubs.

The day has been launched in partnership with CityStack, a beer mat brand tasked with helping consumers find local independent venues. 

To mark the occasion, Von Lion, known for his photographic and written works on the great British pub as well as hosting walking tours of pubs in the capital, will visit the Northcote Arms in Leytonstone, East London, which is one of many pubs to have faced huge challenges in the current economic climate.

Licensee of the Northcote Arms, Tuesday Roberts, said: “My parents worked hard at their pub in Stepney in the 1990s, so I was well aware that taking on a community pub was a huge responsibility.

Great Pride 

“I looked with great pride at the landlords who were out during the recent pandemic checking in on their vulnerable regulars, and it was always those of us from independent pubs.”

This comes as data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) last week revealed more than 500 pubs had closed last year, while leisure property specialists Fleurets predicted more venues would be lost in 2024.

In addition, trade bodies across the sector have called for the Government to support hospitality firms with measures such as reduced VAT and business rates reformation ahead of the Spring Budget in March.

Von Lion said: “It breaks my heart to see so many bastions of British culture cherished by their communities, like the Northcote Arms, disappear every day.

“I want to encourage people to discover these pubs and help keep them alive by visiting them.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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