Saturday, July 13, 2024

Historic UK city now a ‘ghost town’ as work from home culture hits pubs

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Most recently, an upmarket and chic establishment had to close its doors as the few number of punters coming in for a drink made it hard to turn a profit.

Proprietor Jeremy Brunning disclosed the closure “with great sadness”, pointing fingers at the burgeoning remote working trend and “ridiculous electricity bills” for the downfall of the pub.

Brunning said: “It’s a beautiful pub, like a cosy little underground hideaway with excellent staff and the best quality food and drink.

“However, it’s simply not doing enough trade. If you saw the numbers they’d look like a lot but, in today’s economic environment, with ridiculous electricity bills and a myriad of other inflationary pressures, it needs to be busier to be sustainable.”

Mr Brunning added: “I think we’d easily have been able to make it if more people were in their offices and keen for lunch and early evening refreshment, but most seem to be working from home.”

The Henry Potts, a somewhat concealed tavern located on Watergate Street, in Chester, is the latest business closure in what has been regarded as a “ghost town”.

The subterranean drinking spot, which took over the previous Fat Cat premises near the Racecourse, only launched in June 2022.

“The commercial heart of Chester is a bit of a ghost town,” Brunning revealed. “So we must close. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the pub’s hardworking team.”

Brunning added: “They’ve made us very proud and we are doing what we can to keep and relocate those who want to.”

Pubs Limited, the company behind the establishment, also operates The Hare in Farndon, The Black Bear in Whitchurch, The Swan in Marbury and The Druid Inn in Gorsedd, Flintshire.

The director of Pubs Limited, Mr Brunning, revealed that The Henry Potts had been put up for sale but unfortunately received “no bites”.

The venue will now be mothballed “for the foreseeable future”. “It’s such a shame,” expressed Mr Brunning.

He further added: “If you have enjoyed The Potts then thank you, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

“You’ll be pleased to hear that our other four pubs are thriving, so why not go to one of those instead. A nice thing to do if you’re working from home (there’s an irony).”

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