Brunning mothballs city centre site due to WFH

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Jerry Brunning closes Henry Potts pub

Related tags Jerry Brunning Pub Closure

Pubs Limited, the north-west-based pub company launched by industry legend Jerry Brunning has announced the closure of its Chester site, laying the blame at the working from home culture.

Announcing the move with “great sadness, and not a little irritation”, Brunning said the company was going to mothball the site as at the moment, it just wasn’t busy enough to be viable.

Writing on the pub’s website, Brunning said: “It’s a beautiful pub, like a cosy little underground hideaway with excellent staff and the best quality food and drink. However it’s simply not doing enough trade. 

“If you saw the numbers they’d look like a lot but in today’s economic environment, with ridiculous electricity bills and a host of other inflationary costs, it needs to be busier to be viable.  

“So we must close. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the pub’s hardworking team. They’ve made us very proud and we are doing what we can to keep and relocate those who want to.”

He said the shift in working habits post-Covid was the main challenge for operating a city centre pub.

“I think we’d easily have been able to make it if more people were in their offices and keen for lunch and early evening refreshment, but most seem to be working from home. The commercial heart of Chester is a bit of a ghost town.”

Mothballed

However, while the company said it had offered the site for sale, there had been no takers, so the business was going to be mothballed for “the foreseeable future” 

The company continues to operate its remaining four sites, the Swan in Marbury, the Hare in Farndon, the Black Bear in Whitchurch, and the newly opened Druid Inn at Gorsedd.

Brunning previously founded Brunning and Price, starting in the 1980s and working with Graham Price to build an extensive estate of pubs before selling to the Restaurant Group in 2007. After a long break from the sector, he returned to the trade with the opening of the Swan in Marbury in 2018.

Writing to customers on the Henry Potts website, Brunning added: “If you have enjoyed The Potts then thank you, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You’ll be pleased to hear that our other four pubs are thriving, so why not go to one of those instead. A nice thing to do if you’re WFH (there’s an irony).”

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