Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Back to the Local

Some semblance of normality is returning to my life - my local pub has re-opened.  It is surprising what a difference it makes, knowing that there's regular watering hole within a few minutes walk, where one can enjoy a pint in peace.  The new landlord thankfully seems to be set on restoring the pub to being a proper local.  Which is a relief.  As is the fact that the new landlord at least has a track record in running pubs, bars and hotels, which means that he might stand a chance.  For a while I had real fears that the lease would be bought by a local coke head who had been sniffing around the property ever since it had become clear that the previous landlord was in trouble.  Thankfully, either he couldn't muster the cash or the pub company had done some kind of background checks and decided that he wasn't the sort of individual they wanted running one of their pubs.  I suspect the latter, as I believe that he had a viewing of the pub while it was closed, but didn't subsequently get the lease.  Quite apart from his drug use (which, mixed with all the alcohol he drinks, makes him extremely aggressive), he was, for a while, barred from every pub in the district, via 'Pub Watch'.

But that's the problem - you never know who is going to take over as landlord of your local.  While we've had a lucky escape, not every pub-goer is so lucky.  A few years ago, another local pub, after a period of closure, had its lease bought by a bloke, ostensibly for his wife to run.  Well, she did manage it, but the reality, apparently, was that he was using her business as a front to launder drug money.  The place was closed again for a while and has subsequently been run directly by the pubco via a manager.  But even if a new landlord doesn't turn out to be a coke head or a money launderer, there is always the danger that they'll come in determined to change everything about the pub.  We've had experience of that at my local: the oft-mentioned Deke, (not his real name, but close enough), who decided that he didn't like the existing clientele, so set about driving out the established local trade his predecessors had spent years cultivating, in the hope of attracting a younger, 'with it' crowd and trying to restyle the place into a 'rock pub'.  Needless to say, it didn't work and ended in disaster.  Anyway, it all underlines the perils faced by those of us who enjoy traditional pubs - our drinking experience is constantly at the mercy of forces beyond control.  But, for now, it seems that those of us drinking at my local have dodged a bullet and normal service can be resumed. For now.



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