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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Why did we say pubs and bars are going out of business again?

Just got back from Hoxton Square, where we had a quick drink.  I'm not proud of it but we were dropping off Captain, our camp little dog, with a dog-sitter before going on holiday tomorrow.

And what a privilege and honour it was to be served in the Hoxton Apprentice - at least, that's what they seemed to think.

There were waiting staff standing doing nothing, but when I said I just wanted drinks I was told to go to the bar and get them myself.  

There was one beer tap on the bar - Bitburger.  I asked what bottled beers they had - "Just Peroni I'm afraid."  Now there's nothing wrong with either of these lagers, but never in my entire life have I been in any pub or bar - West End cocktail bar, hotel bar, backstreet boozer, working men's club - with such a non-choice in beers.  I'm off booze for a few weeks anyway, so I ordered a lime and soda - that's half a lime and soda - and was charged £2.10 for it.  The wife's small glass of white wine was £3.75.  Part of the reason for the high prices is that according to my receipt they're still charging VAT at 17.5% - is that legal?  Anyone?  Either that, or the price of the drinks includes a hefty service charge.

The place is actually a bar and restaurant.  There was an upstairs bit - clearly the restaurant - that seemed quite busy.  A terrace outside and tables set for dinner inside to seat about eighty people.  At 8pm on a Saturday night, there was one other couple apart from me and the wife.  I wonder why?


The laughably cliched up-its-own-arse bar's laughably cliched up-its-own-arse bar.

3 comments:

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

Just one of the reasons we left that area five years ago.

Woolpack Dave said...

The reason pubs are going out of business is that customers don't like to pay for the overheads.

I think a minimum price for ANY drink should be £2 even if it's tap water. That's the price you pay for the upkeep of the pub, it's not a bus shelter.

Don't disappoint me Pete, I like your stuff.

Anonymous said...

Woolpack Dave - tell me you're kidding!