View Full Version : The Pub Curmudgeon - Stairway to heaven

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30-10-2014, 11:11
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The other week I called in to the Ship at Styal, an attractive Cheshire country pub that has recently been refurbished by multiple operators Kalton & Barlow after having become rather tired under pub company ownership. It’s been smartly done up in gastro-style, and I had quite a reasonable pint of Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker. However, one thing I noticed is that the toilets had been moved upstairs to make more room on the ground floor.
This is a familiar feature of Wetherspoons, but more recently it’s been spreading to other pubs as well. I wrote recently how pubs seemed to be increasingly turning a cold shoulder to older drinkers (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/no-country-for-old-men.html) and, while Spoons do seem to be popular with the grey market, this is something that is far from ideal for them. There are many elderly people who are not disabled as such, but would struggle with long flights of stairs, especially if their bladder capacity is not what it was. I’ve heard it said of some Spoons that “it’s so far to the bogs, once you’ve been and come back you want to go again.”
In some Spoons I’ve seen people who struggle a bit to walk using the disabled toilet, often with the tacit approval of the staff, but to feel forced to do so involves something of a loss of dignity. So maybe, with an increasingly ageing population, this is one example of how pubs could to take the concept of being pensioner-friendly seriously.
Incidentally, I’ve never come across upstairs or basement toilets in any of the new Greene King and Marston’s dining pubs, which suggests they have a keen eye on where much of their trade comes from.

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