Last orders for pubs as new drinkers turn to craft beer bars

Last orders for old-school pubs as new generation of drinkers turn to craft beers and cider bars

  • Traditional public houses are on the way out according to new figures
  • It’s last orders for the Coach and Horses as new micropubs are being opened
  • These watering holes are usually named ending in ‘bar’ or ‘tap’
  • Pubs named after royalty or coaching inns are declining fastest 

The days of the Royal Oak and the Coach and Horses may be numbered.

Traditional pubs, fixtures of Britain’s high streets and villages for generations, are on the way out, figures show.

There are now fewer than 40,000 across England and Wales – down by more than 7,000 in a decade.

Declining fastest are those with names associated with royalty or coaching inns, with the micropub boom seeing a surge in new openings called ‘bar’ and ‘tap’. Campaigners say pubs that were once at the heart of the community are closing down, with many demolished or turned into flats.

There are now fewer than 40,000 across England and Wales – down by more than 7,000 in a decade

At the same time, a new generation of drinkers is being drawn to craft beer and cider bars, often in old industrial premises.

Robert Hayton of property advisers Altus Group, which revealed the 15 per cent fall, said: ‘While pubs proved remarkably resilient during the pandemic, they’re now facing new headwinds, grappling with the cost of doing business through soaring energy costs, inflationary pressures and tax rises.’

According to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping, and UKHospitality, only 37 per cent of hospitality businesses turn a profit.

Last month’s rail strikes meant one pub chain’s takings were down by a quarter.

Over the past two years, pubs called ‘inn’ have vanished fastest, with 103 lost, according to analysis of Food Standards Agency figures. ‘Arms’ was down by 49, while ‘Bar’ was up by 119 and ‘Tap’ up by 48, according to the open-source data website, The Observer reported.

Also in decline are Royal, Crown, Lord, Greyhound, Horse, Coach and Duke – but Red Lion and Plough are on the rise.

James Watson, of the Campaign for Pubs, said: ‘No one is setting up a micropub and calling it The Royal Oak.’ Emma McClarkin, of the BBPA, said each closure was ‘a huge loss to the local community’.

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