One of my less onerous work engagements last week was attending the opening of a new pub.
With my mind on the job – thinking about pubs – I couldn’t help noticing how many had “for sale” boards outside. So I was intrigued to find out what business model this new pub would offer.
While we all want to see our pubs thrive, the reality is many are getting boarded up and sold as flats.
Those that stay busy are keeping up with the changing palate of the beer drinking Brit which is moving towards favouring micropubs such as the Tankerton Arms and Black Dog in Whitstable High Street – drinking in smaller groups without the noise of fruit machines and mobile phones.
In France and Spain, the pubs for decades have doubled up as convenience stores for bread, milk, eggs or papers. The Ship Inn at Dymchurch is a great example of a pub that has doubled up as a library to build the feeling of its place at the centre of the community.
The pub opening was for the Kentish Hare in Bidborough. It’s following the recipe of being a freehouse with not only a large selection of real ales but also a long list of wine available by the glass or carafe, plus Michelin star chefs James & Chris Tanner.
For me it boils down to going somewhere that I can enjoy a drink or a meal I wouldn’t normally have at home. What’s your tip for a good pub and how can they stay in business?