Monday, 15 June 2009

The Great Rip-Off goes on

Since my son, Stonch, bought the lease of a pub in London, I have been idly considering whether to get into the business myself - after all, it could be a bit of an adventure (a late mid-life crisis?).
But I am appalled at the bum deals being offered by the big brewers who have a stranglehold on pub ownership in this benighted and too-docile country.
For instance, The Allison Arms, a pub well off the beaten track in Jarrow, where you'd have to work really hard to build up any kind of regular business, is being offered at over £18,000 for a 5-year occupancy. Not even a lease, mark you! And the mug who took this on would have to pay them rent for the premises, besides giving them a cut of the takings by being tied to buying their beer at their inflated prices!
But they are running out of mugs and all over the country, good pubs are closing down because of the big brewers' greed.
We are losing a precious aspect of our heritage. Can nothing be done to reverse the decline before it is too late?
It may be time for people to start petitioning the Government to begin issuing new licenses en masse, sanctioning a new wave of public houses, leaving the big brewers with dead assets on their hands.
That would fettle the greedy buggers.


Tandleman said...

You are right, but its mostly big pub companies, not big brewers.

Jeffrey said...

No-one will take up such a poor tenancy (yes, £18000 is a high amount to pay as a premium for a five year tenancy in a poor area), so the property will stand empty and boarded. And then the pubco will tell the council they can't find a tenant. And they'll be granted a change of use, and it'll become residential. Which is probably what they wanted in the first place. And maybe they're right to want that, if a pub can't work there.

Jeffrey said...

PS. Amused by your idea of allowing beer houses again! It would certainly revive beer drinking in this country, but I don't think it would help public order! Fights on front lawns in estates up and down the country!

papastonch said...

Somebody has actually taken the place on, as I see it is open for business again. Good luck to them!

Claire said...

Well this week the Allison Arms was knocked down. Your comments about the £18000 tenancy were very telling. Frankly in any circumstance it would have been a miracle if this pub had continued. It's original clientele would have been working men, from the docks and chemical works etc. whose place of employment was on the Tyne. It was a bit out the way as yet an other restaurant, being more or less on the mouth of the Tyne Tunnel.

I never went to the pub, or although I have passed it probably a 1000 times or more due to the proximity of my work.

Also being called Allison, made it wonder about it's history. There once was pit hips everywhere you looked in the north east, and then one day I noticed there was none. The old boozer is going the same way.

a worker based in Hebburn