A CITY centre pub is calling time as part of a national closure programme as a result of “poor trading conditions”.
Yates’s in Frodsham Street will shut its doors at the end of a farewell party being held tomorrow for customers.
There has been Press speculation parent organisation the Laurel Pub Company is in difficulties.
Company spokeswoman Maureen Heffernan said a total of 60 Yates’s and Hog’s Head “wet-led” outlets were closing as a result of “the smoking ban and poor trading conditions”.
However, she said food-led brands within the group, including The Slug and Lettuce and La Tasca, which both operate in Chester, would continue.
The closure of Yates’s in Chester will mean a loss of 12 jobs. Most of the team joined less than 12 months ago and are therefore only entitled to a week’s notice and no redundancy pay.
A statement from management and staff posted on the windows reads: “We regret to inform our customers, this Yates’s will be closing for good. We will close our doors for the final time on Saturday, March 22.
“Please join us for our farewell party on Saturday. We will be operating business as usual until Saturday. We would like to wish all our customers the very best for the future. We thank you for all the fun times we have had.”
Staff acknowledge trade was down but “no worse” than at other venues in the city centre. In general, drinks sales had decreased but food sales were up due to more people eating out as a result of the smoking ban.
A 14-strong hen party is booked in for Saturday night and it is hoped customers past and present, including those who met their partners in the venue, will go along for the final time.
Meanwhile, Wetherspoon’s has submitted plans to Chester City Council to reopen the empty Mansion House, in Love Street, opposite Brannigans as a Lloyds No1 Bar. The venue was formerly known as Raphael’s and Love Street nightclub.
Spokesman Eddie Gershon said a £1.3m refurbishment would start in August with a planned opening in December or early January.
Lloyds are aimed at a younger market than Wetherspoons. There will be a dance floor on the ground floor. Opening hours are likely to be until midnight during the week and 1am or later at weekends. About 50 jobs will be created.
One website says of Lloyds bars: “They operate in a similar way to ordinary Wetherspoon’s pubs, but usually have music at varying levels during the day, often have later opening hours, a different and somewhat more interesting food menu, and varying policies on what real ales are available, if at all! ”