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Thread: Starting a pub up from scratch

  1. #1
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Default Starting a pub up from scratch

    Starting a pub up from scratch

    I have been giving this idea some though as most pubs seem to be owned by the mob who dictates to you how much you charge for your drinks. So good reason hear why all the pubs have been closing down faster than other businesses over recent decades

    I was looking at some commercial letting agents with high street shops up for lease and a lot of them go through a change of use purpose. So for instance one I saw was an old bank with all the fixtures and fittings ripped out. I was talking to a licensing officer for north Yorkshire today and she said as well as applying for a premises license you will also need to apply to Yorkshire Dales planning for a change of use to the building, and that this is just not for pubs but it is for any kind of business where the nature of business has been changed

    So my question hear is why do we see so many high street businesses coming up for lease over and over again where shop fitters come in and change the use of business, but we do not see pubs opening and closing back up again. Is the issue to do with cellar managment and the setup of all the plumbing, I know things like banks and takeaway restaurants have counter, so there is your bar and requires fitting all the beer taps and pipes. Or is it a matter of toilets, A lot of these buildings only have one toilet and I think you would need a minimum of 2 lades and one gents with urinals fitting into the cubical

    I was told by someone who deals with personal licenses that what they do nower days if they want a free of tie pub is they rent out a café and apply for a premises license. But with only one toilet and the upstairs being separate flat, playing live music on a weekend is not an option

    And there is the concept of marketing, and an existing pub is known as a pub and already has regular customers (weather this business can not balance the books or not, or it is a thriving city centre restaurant/ cocktail bar where you have to purchase the business for 150K and then pay rent on top of that is not relevant hear). But starting a new pub up on say the high street; would this not require word and mouth

    I mean I want to rent something that is going to be cheap to rent and I can rent the upstairs as living accommodation and not worry about live music on a weekend there. In the hope that I can find a job lot of pub fixtures and fitting out of a pub that has just closed/ boarded up for good at a fraction on the price of new fixtures and fittings. But this is not a good idea for someone who has never run a pub before and finding pubs that will let you work for them for nothing so long as you learn the ropes seem to be “can’t be assed” attitude!

    But if we look at it at another angle and why are so many pubs closing up faster than any other business. Is it to do with the size of the building being too large and therefore to expensive? I remember Sheffield Hatters saying something about these being big grand buildings in x-mining town where people used to have money but not anymore (the thread about the pub in Wigan). When I was talking to the licensing officer she said that ratable vale is worked out on; one the square meter, 2 uses, 3 profits. So if this is one reason why pubs are failing then why do we not see a big increase in micro breweries in the form of business change of use shop/ bank to pub as I described above.

    And while on the subject of big grand buildings being to expensive to run. The pubcons will not allow you to let out rooms upstairs or use them as function/ restaurant room. So more scope hear as to why pubs are failing because of the size of the buildings

  2. #2
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    There are many reasons why pubs close; here's a list of some reasons

    social change (pubs are less popular because people do other things)
    demographic changes (for example people who are not natural pub goers move into an area, this can be social or religious)
    the business fails because the person running it isn't any good at business or running a pub
    the owner of the pub (usually a PubCo) charges so much rent etc that no-one would be able to make a living out of the pub (for example the PubCo will tie the operator for supply of drinks but charge two or three times the going rate for the wholesale supply, this is known as wet rent)

    On the planning side; in North Yorkshire part of the county is under normal local councils (City of York, Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Scarborough, Selby, and the unitary councils on Teesside) but the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors come under National Park Authorities who will be much more strict about what you can do. You only need COU approval if you want to change the planning class of the building. Sale of alcohol requires a premises license and the person in charge needs a personal license, these are administered by the local council.

    The micropub boom of the last few years is because the premises are 1. cheap to buy/lease, 2. have a low rateable value, 3. have lower overheads than a large Victorian pub (fewer staff, lower utility bills, cheaper maintenance). They also seem to get away with one unisex toilet in many cases.
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    we are the drunk and disorderly,
    and we’ll drink more beer wherever we may be,
    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

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  3. #3
    Humble Wordsmith ETA's Avatar
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    Flatcap, why don't you look at trying a micro first? I've known a few people who have gone down that route, and it does seem to be the way ahead just now. OK, there will be restrictions on things like music and so on, but it must be worth a try. Like any business it'll be hard work, there'll be a few frustrations along the way, it'll take time and effort - but if it's what you want to do, go for it. Your local CAMRA branch will be able to put you in touch with other people who have done it, or you could just walk in and ask - most micro landlords will be delighted to help and almost certainly wouldn't view you as competition. JFDI.
    'Beer is for all day, not just for breakfast'.

  4. #4
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    oldboots and ETA make some very good points.

    Successful micropubs place a lot of emphasis on interesting real ale often from local microbreweries,with a varied choice which may rotate quite rapidly.If you are looking at North Yorkshire the choice of local microbrewers is wide,oldboots can add more detail.However if you just stock national brands such as Doom Bar,Greene King Abbott and IPA,Marstons Pedigree and Wainwright,Deuchars IPA and so on you may well struggle.The same applies to well known keg lager and beer brands where you will be undercut by chains with much bigger buying clout such as Wetherspoons,Stonegate and so on.

    Are you a keen real ale enthusiast ? Most micropub owners are.

    Planning prevents piss poor performance so your business plan should include the costs (both capital and running costs) for a chiller cabinet/room to keep your real ale in good condition.Lots of micropubs use these in a shop conversion situation where there is no cellar.

    Good luck if you decide to go down this route,it will be very hard work but at least you will be in full charge with no shite pubco to answer to.
    Last edited by Bucking Fastard; 20-06-2020 at 15:01.
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

  5. #5
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    They also seem to get away with one unisex toilet in many cases.
    I have never been in a micro pub before, but have you seen them with only one toilet?

  6. #6
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Quote Originally Posted by ETA View Post
    1. Flatcap, why don't you look at trying a micro first?

    2. OK, there will be restrictions on things like music and so on, but it must be worth a try.

    3. Your local CAMRA branch will be able to put you in touch with other people who have done it, or you could just walk in and ask - most micro landlords will be delighted to help and almost certainly wouldn't view you as competition. JFDI.
    1. I have not seen any micro pubs up for rent!

    2. If there is no live music played until midnight on a weekend then there will be no pub! it is as simple as that

    3. What is a CAMBA? do you have any contact for these people please

  7. #7
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    oldboots and ETA make some very good points.

    Successful micropubs place a lot of emphasis on interesting real ale often from local microbreweries,with a varied choice which may rotate quite rapidly.If you are looking at North Yorkshire the choice of local microbrewers is wide,oldboots can add more detail.However if you just stock national brands such as Doom Bar,Greene King Abbott and IPA,Marstons Pedigree and Wainwright,Deuchars IPA and so on you may well struggle.The same applies to well known keg lager and beer brands where you will be undercut by chains with much bigger buying clout such as Wetherspoons,Stonegate and so on.

    Are you a keen real ale enthusiast ? Most micropub owners are.

    .
    No I was not really intending to go down the real ale roune
    1. very difficult for someone new
    2. goes off to quick
    3. I want a stack it high sell it cheep pub

  8. #8
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucking Fastard View Post
    ts) for a chiller cabinet/room to keep your real ale in good condition.Lots of micropubs use these in a shop conversion situation where there is no cellar.
    .
    What kind of chiller cabenet did you have in mind. Do you think old drinks fridges with thermostat fitted will do the job?

  9. #9
    Waterborne Beer Inspector Bucking Fastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatcap View Post
    What kind of chiller cabenet did you have in mind. Do you think old drinks fridges with thermostat fitted will do the job?
    No ,these chiller cabinets are big enough to walk into and will have shelving to accomodate up to say 8 real ale 72 pint containers ,and this is where you condition the ale,hard tap it and then serve it to your customers when you are ready.

    To be honest,if you want to sell cheap lager and have weekend music until late,a micropub is not for you IMHO.You will need a premises large enough to accomodate a decent amount of music fans,and then get a fire safety certificate and a live music licence .I know nothing about the economics of running such a venue,and you will be up against chain music venues from the likes of Stonegate who have the buying power to compete with your "pile it high ,sell it cheap"pricing policy.Good luck.
    "Good people drink good beer" Hunter S Thompson

  10. #10
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatcap View Post

    3. What is a CAMBA? do you have any contact for these people please
    Are you being serious?
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
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