We have pound shops littering the high streets, cheap discount airlines like Ryanair and Easy Jet ruling the air, people buying their clothes in charity shops, and getting buses from Leeds to London for a few quid. Think you have seen it all, well what about a PoundPub! Has life gotten any better!
A pub that offers pints of beer for just £1.50 from 8am onwards has opened in Greater Manchester and, so far, has been a huge success.
The Pound Pub in Atherton, near Wigan, is the second location in a chain of new no-frills pubs offering booze at extremely low prices. The pub saves money and cuts their overheads by not offering entertainment or subscribing to Sky Sports but will have traditional games like darts and billiards on offer.
Strongbow, Fosters, Theakstons and John Smith’s – are all on offer at £1 for half a pint or £1.50 for the full pint.
The interior of the pub is basic and the pub’s slogan is ‘more round for your pound’.
News over plans to open these chains of discount pubs has angered alcohol awareness campaigners who claim that drink is already too cheap and readily available.
However, Mike Wardell, a director at Here for Your Hospitality Ltd, the company behind the ventures, said it was returning to the traditional concept of a pub. “We are responsible retailers, and this is about giving value for money to working people. No one said anything when Workingmen’s clubs were offering bitter for 99 pence a pint, in fact it was pretty popular. We will offer a quality product at an affordable price”.
He further went on to explain that “These two sites are the test, and a lot will depend on how successful they are as to how we expand. At a time when 12 pubs a week are closing across the country we have to think outside the box a bit.” If it’s a success, the chain plans to bring the brand nationwide.
DOWN WITH THAT SORT OF THING!
Some residents of Atherton and Stockton have criticised the Pound Pub for taking advantage of ‘vulnerable’ drinkers and lowering the tone of the town. They are afraid that the pubs will attract the “wrong sort”.
Chair of the Stockton Town Team, Joanna Waker called the Pound Pub ‘counter-productive’ to Stockton’s development. She said: ‘Businesses do not need to be low cost to survive in Stockton, ‘Earls of Ashwood deli serving fine cheeses and The Storytellers pub serving fine and real ales from around the world – both of which are absolutely thriving – prove it.’
Stockton is undertaking a £38 million town centre refurbishment, and borough councillor Phil Dennis, said he was worried about the effect of the scheme on the redeveloped town centre, and warned the pub “cheapened the image” of the new investment. He added: “I have initial doubts and concerns about the ability of such a venue to control the environment where effectively we are selling at a point where the quality of clientele will likely match the price of the product on offer.”
Ken Lupton, leader of the council’s Tory group, said: “An individual pub with such a pricing policy would only be detrimental to the general improvement the council hopes to achieve with their significant investment in the High street. I have initial doubts and concerns about the ability of such a venue to control the environment where effectively we are selling at a point where the quality of clientele will likely match the price of the product on offer”.
This type of drivel is a joke. How do ordinary people having a few pints in a pub lower the tone of an area? It’s all well and good for the cheese eating, coffee drinking, bridge playing types to moan, but drinking in pubs is what the British do best. They have done it for centuries and if it puts a few tory noses out of joint in the local councils then so be it. Stick your 38 million redevelopment up your arse. Who the hell wants another starfucks or M n S in their high-street! Can there not be a little bit of the town left for ordinary people to drink and be merry.
The pub is also raising concerns over its application to start serving alcohol at 8am. Angry neighbours claim it caters for drunks “staggering around the streets” before lunchtime.
This is also a bit of a misconception. A person can only drink so much. I am amused as to where all these drunk people would be going to, are they not already in a pub, where would they be off too?
Pub landlord, Dave Sutton, allaying fears, stated ‘If people get out of hand they get kicked out – it’s like any other pub, only cheaper.’ He also added that the pub was only met with one objection when its application for an extension to its alcohol licence was put forward last year. Which makes you wonder if all the residents objections were a figment of some newspaper hacks mind.
I will leave the last sentence to the Greater Manchester Police who confirmed there had been no problems with the PoundPub.
Colin Shevells, director of Balance – an organisation that encourages people to reduce their alcohol consumption said: “Drink is already too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted. We know that problems are caused by it being too cheap. The PoundPub is just part of a much bigger problem. We need to wake up to the problems cheap alcohol is causing both in the short and long term. We need to find a way to bring in a minimum price that doesn’t penalise the moderate drinker and the good solid community pub. So many of them are closing because they can’t compete and this will make it worse.”
The local council has also raised fears that the pub will encourage ‘irresponsible’ problem drinking and threaten public health.
Wigan Council’s director of public health, Professor Kate Ardern, said: ‘Alcohol used to be a luxury, but it is now widely available and often sold at pocket money prices. Research has proved that the cheaper alcohol is, the more people drink. ‘Any promotion which potentially increases the supply of cheap alcohol and which appears to target those on limited incomes, especially young adults, who are cost-conscious, is highly irresponsible – particularly in a borough like Wigan which has high rates of alcohol harm.’
Mr Sutton, the pub landlord, denied claims it was “irresponsible”, saying: “We don’t encourage people to get drunk.” He also pointed out that supermarkets are able to sell their own value beers at 40p a can – something which is not monitored by councils
I have to be honest I love the idea; half a pint for a quid, £1.50 for a whole. In fact I don’t just like it, I fecking love it! I like drinking. I like drinking in pubs. I like drinking cheap beer in pubs. So far I can’t see anything too wrong with this concept!
Pubs are very valuable in improving the communal spirit of an area. It’s a place to make friends, have a chat, relax, and take a breather from the outside world. Is this not better than buying a cheap can of pish from Tesco’s and drinking it all alone at home? Where are all the old men meant to spend the day? Where can we relax and have a sit down after the weekend shopping spree?
Mr Sutton, the pub landlord, said his clients were mainly old men drinking throughout the day, starting as early as 9am. Not the image of boozed up vandals terrorising the locality then.
PoundPub is offering a service, and the point that the two pubs are doing a roaring trade so far supports the fact that people want them in their areas.
PoundPub is also the lifeline to an industry that is currently suffering and where 12 pubs a week are closing across the country. Pubs are finding it hard to compete with supermarket chains who can cut their prices on alcohol and offset the price onto something else. As Dave Sutton said, ‘Pubs around the country are shutting all the time so something has to be done – and this could be it. The idea is to bring people back into the pub” And amen to that.
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