The last few years have been hard for pubs across the country. Regular closures have been an ongoing tale of woe for the sector for many years, while Covid dealt a fresh blow as many stayed away amid health fears even when the pubs reopened. Now, a cost-of-living crisis means punters have less to spend in the bar.
All that may leave some imagining pub solicitors in and around Hull have little business to do, except handling closures. But many enterprising landlords have shown that investing in pubs can still be a successful enterprise.
As the Hull Daily Mail reports, across the Humber Bridge a pub in Goole is thriving because locals got together to create a strong community feel.
The Jemmy Hirst has been so successful in this that it has become one of 15 nominees for the national Community Pub Hero Awards, to be presented next month. A combination of cask beer, conversation and community efforts such as charity work has put it in this position as potentially Britain’s best community pub.
Always willing to highlight the best of the area’s watering holes, the same paper recently highlighted how the traditional community pub approach can work for many ‘backstreet’ establishments, focusing on the success of the 200-year-old Ship Inn in Hodgson Street, a pub that was reopened after being closed for three months last year after five owners in eight years.
It has made a success of offering an alternative to “trendy” modern gastro pubs, said co-owner Dean Kirk, who is also a city councillor.
He noted: “The trendy bars do not provide the same community spirit pubs like this do. A real boozer is about people coming together and having a chat.”
Indeed, even when pubs have closed there have still be pledges that when they reopen they will play to their previous strengths. Last month, outgoing landlord of the 18th century Whalebone in Hull James Reading told the BBC there was no way it would be turned into a sports bar and will definitely reopen in due course as a “traditional pub”.