A PoundPub – coming to your town soon?
Published on March 31, 2014
By Matt Wright
The basic pub model – a few keg lagers, a couple of generic cask ales, wine from a tap, fruit machine, sport on the telly, uninspiring pub grub, jukebox and bad carpets – is a lame duck. Pubs sticking to this formula make up most of the UK’s weekly closures. Thank goodness, I hear you cry. And it’s true that the standard of pubs is rising as operators are forced to raise the game. Food quality and service has, in general, improved dramatically. Beer range and quality has shot up too. The pubs doing well, in my experience, put good ale (and to a lesser extent, wine and coffee) at or near the top of their priority list. Just look at JD Wetherspoon – arguably today’s most successful pub operator. Love them or hate them, ‘Spoons have a great selection of beers and support local microbrewers. They even fly in foreign brewers to brew for their regular beer festivals.
However, this week a new pub model has emerged that could be described as the bastard son of the upward trend – it’s called the PoundPub and there could be one near you soon. Launching in Greater Manchester, the first PoundPub offers half pints for £1 and pints for £1.50. Another will open next week in the north-east.
It will be interesting to see how the PoundPubs fare. It will also be intriguing to find out how they will make any money. I predict plenty of gambling machines and lots of upselling of strong alcohol to people who buy most of the UK’s super-strength lager. I hope I’m wrong.
Call me a snob, but I won’t be rushing to visit a PoundPub any time soon.