View Full Version : Northern Beer Blog - Pubpaper 843 – Barge and Barrel over the Waterfall

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13-02-2016, 17:26
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I was going to start this weeks article directly quoting the pub manager at the Barge and Barrel in Elland, but when I came to copy and paste it, he had been forced to remove the post by Punch Taverns due to the negative press it had been attracting. *So to paraphrase him, the Barge and Barge will close in little under two months time, the brewery dismantled, and turned into a destination food pub. *Gone will be the range of real ales the pub has always been well known for and in it’s place we will have one of the Punch Taverns chain brands
I’ve not been the most regular visitor to the pub, but have always popped in occasionallly to see how the place is going. **The pub of course was suffering from a downturn in trade from the loss of easy access from Elland town centre after the Boxing Day floods. *It is the job of the owner to support the pub during these times. *Not to do so is a short sighted vision. **A few thousand pounds off the rent over a short period will repay itself over the years. *This accouncement was made only a week before the footbridge giving them a link to the town again was restored.
What is the point of management making an effort now apart from your customers. *Your death sentence is already signed and sealed, you know you are out of a job in 2 months time (and lets be blunt Punch Taverns are not happy with him for making it public so soon as their censorship shows, so remployment is not a likely option). *All you can do is make sure your regulars are kept happy and can see the place out in the manner they are used to. *I don’t like pub companies and it is stunts like this which cause so many people to see them as the evil of this industry.
Rumours are that the leaseholders offered to buy the property off Punch Taverns at a fair rate, but all offers were rebuffed. *What this shows is that they didn’t give a crap about the pub, the customers, the staff, all of which could lose a local pub, a favourite place for lunch or most importantly their job or more than one of these. ***The new venue will be an homogenous design based on a set template, serving the same menu as 200 other pubs across the country, with the same generic set of beers, ciders and spirits, possibly with a choice of up to 3 real ales if they are lucky, the choice of which can be limited by whether you are on the basic, enhanced or SIBA access lists. * *
I sound negative about ths change and frankly I can see no good coming out of this, who needs another chain eatery, or if we are lucky a gastropub (all sarcasm intended). **If you want a chain pub you have the Three Nuns, the Old Mill, the Watermill, all within reasonable distance. *You also have some great food pubs and real ale pubs not 10 minutes away from here, why go generic when you can support an induvidual business for good food, beer or ale. *There is no reason. *if you want to run a 50-80 head food lead pub, there is also not enough parking on site and in the immediate area especially when demolition and rebuilding of the Elland road bridge starts. *
Yes, it may appeal to the family crowd, but so do many of the nearby food and / or ale lead pubs. **Most pubs now will welcome well behaved families for at least some of their working day. *What is this adding to our local pub scene apart from the possibility that trade will cannibalised from their other tentanted pubs in the area, local and further afield, making the high rents paid by these people even hard to pay. **People who suport our local independent pubs won’t change allegance to a chain pub and the regular drinkers who haunt there at the moment could well go elsewhere for a good ale.
Let’s wrap up this rant, I’m a big supporter our local independent pubs, just look at the place’s I’d visited before tea time on Saturday last weekend. *The Fox and Goose, the Cross Keys and Victorian Craft Beer Cafe (twice). *Premises belonging to pub companies have their reputation down to how the landlord operates the pub, the chain pubs are just a branch on the pub company tree. ****Freedom, Independence, Choice is what our pubs need to trade and give us customer what we really want, not gentrification.

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