LICENSEES are calling time on rural pubs. A Chronicle investigation found landlords on the brink of financial crisis at The Robin Hood, Helsby and the Queen’s Head, Frodsham.
The Aston Arms, Mill Lane, Frodsham and The Horse and Jockey, Helsby, are already closed.
Landlords blame rising brewery rents, soaring costs and beer sales plummeting faster than the price of a pint is rising.
Dave McMahon, proprietor of The Robin Hood, Helsby, said: “We are making a £1,000 loss every week. Everything has gone up but we are not taking the same money in. Next winter could kill us.”
According to the British Beer and Pub Association four UK pubs closed every day last year.
Many Cheshire pubs are diversifying into food and entertainment.
Licensee Ian Pritchard quit The Queens Head last month after three years, saying he risked personal bankruptcy by staying.
He said: “I think the days of the British pub are numbered. “Who can blame people for staying at home with a pack of 24 cans for a tenner instead?”
Tenant landlord Mike Shaw, left the Aston Arms pub after seven years and says he will not go back into the “dying” pub trade. Owners Admiral Taverns have sold the pub to a building developer.
He said: “Gone are the days of the last century when landlords had three or four holidays a year and drove a Mercedes. Now it is just long hours, hard work and high overheads.”