Last night we decided to find a country pub and eat out. I had visions of a roaring fire, steak and ale pie and a small glass of red. We decided on a village nearby and set off.
No Food at The Inn
Pulling up into an empty car park didn’t bode well. As the door creaked open we were greeted by the bar-person with a cheery, but faintly desperate smile. It had been so quiet they had stopped doing food (probably sent the chef home). It was a sorry sight. We stayed for a drink in the empty bar but quickly headed off in search of pie.
The overheads are still there, staff need to be paid, food needs to be bought, the rent has to be met…but there were no paying customers. I know pubs have it tough, large breweries are not the most supportive of landlords. Austerity and lifestyle have enforced changes in habits, punters have neither the time nor money to prop up the bar for the evening.
So What’s the Solution?
We sat discussing that very topic. There sits a beautiful building with kitchen, tables, chairs, utilities, space and space outdoors. There are myriad needs in the community that could be served. Think outside the box, how could the space be adapted throughout the day in a way that serves a need and provides an income? Off the top of my head:
- Bingo Hall
- Community groups
- Craft Sessions
- Local small businesses selling their wares
- Skills teaching
- Meeting rooms
- Citizens advice
- Music facility
Room At The Inn
The rent being paid is for 24 hours, it seems a shame to have that usable, versatile space lying dormant when there must be so many ways it could be filled. Public houses could re-invent themselves, utilise their assets, provide a service and become a thriving business within the community. This doesn’t only apply to pubs, what assets do you have assets that could be utilised in other ways? I’ve talked about repurposing before here in terms of content. Any bright ideas?
Spread the word.