Monday, 15 February 2010

End of an Era

It was a surprising and eventful day at the pub yesterday. The landlady has handed in her notice. She has been struggling and the terrible winter weather has caused a lot of customers to stay at home, the lane has been the worst anyone can remember and while heating bills soared and other costs rose, the pub has not traded well enough. Her part time job has gone to service her rent and the dray money to the brewery. The pub has always been marginal in terms of making a living out of it, given its isolated location. and now the landlady has had a better offer elsewhere from another family brewer, in a pub with more potential, so with heavy heart she is leaving. She loves the place to bits, but she has to eat.

We are all a bit shocked, but this is the way of things in so many pubs. I'm sure the landladywill do well elsewhere, but it leaves all us regulars indulging in selfish speculation about what will happen next. You see in a pub like this there is a delicate balance between the tenant and the customers and the wrong appointment by the brewery can bugger things up. There is speculation one of the locals may bid for it, but we just don't know. I think we'd all prefer someone who knows the place, limitations and all, rather than see someone come in with high hopes and see them dashed, wrecking the place in the process. As I said, its our pub too and our motivation is admitted self interest. We'll likely outlast any tenant, as most regulars in a pub do.

So, unless things change, it will be change, not for changes sake, but for the harsh economic reality of the pub times we live in. I'll keep you informed of developments.

18 comments:

Tyson said...

Sad news. As you say, there is a delicate balance between the landlord and the customers-in a good pub anyway. Let's hope someone with inside knowledge takes it on.

Cooking Lager said...

If it closes, Tand, I've send over a slab of lout to help you drown your sorrows. Some choose lout appreciation, some have it thrust upon them.

Whorst said...

No doubt The Tandle Hill. It is mentioned in the track "I Will Imbibe," and was also the focus early on in the war. That seems so distant now. I hope someone respectable gets in there and can keep things up to standard. I'd even run it, but I have tracks on the jukebox. That might not sit well with the locals.

Woolpack Dave said...

If it is that marginal, and I am quite sure by the description of it's location that it is, then will the brewery not choose to sell it into the free-trade?

I would argue that it is likely to do better for itself in the free-trade.

Tandleman said...

I'd agree, but I somehow doubt it. There are likely to be other tenants who feel they can do better. I doubt if they will.

Paul Bailey said...

Sorry to hear the news about your local, Tandleman. Hopefully there'll be a decent tenant waiting somewhere in the wings to take over the reins.

I don't know the Tandle Hill Tavern, but couldn't it capitalise somehow on its isolated position? I am a bit wary of the term "destination pub", but given the right owner, and the right balance between the interests of the regulars and the needs of a viable business, it can sometimes work.

Unfortunately what could have been a perfectly viable pub, situated in the next village to where I work, has just closed its doors for the last time. It was a freehouse, and regretably the owner decided he could get more for the building as a private house (in a prime commuter spot), than he could as a pub. At least with a sympathetic brewery owning the Tandle Hill, there's a fighting chance it will survive.

I sincerely hope it does!

Mark said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog and am saddened to hear of your landlady chosing to move on, i hope the owning brewery find a suitable replacement. All too often we hear about pubs in small outlying villages closing, these in most part are the heart and sole of the village. I'd like to join the list of people in wishing your village luck with whoever takes over and hope the heart of your village keeps beating strong

Erlangernick said...

Jesus, that's hard news. So sorry to hear it, and here's hoping things turn out OK.

I'll miss her, maybe even more than I'll miss the hounds.

A Council House Kid.... Grown Up said...

Hello,

Just found your blog by accident. Good luck with the new tenant, hopefully they might turn things round. Good luck to the outgoing lady too, in her life after the pub.

Good luck.

Cheers
SJD

RedNev said...

TM: fingers crossed.

Karman said...

Sad news indeed. Have you given it any thought? Could you fill Michelle's shoes?

Tandleman said...

Who wants a 24 hr a day 365 days a year job? Not me.

Anonymous said...

it is with a tear in my eye that i have read your comments. I can assure you all that the decision to move on has not been taken lightly. The tavern is a remarkable pub in a fantastic setting but what makes it special are the people who frequent it. It never ceases to amaze me at the people who make the effort to trudge up here in all weathers. I'll miss you all dearly...... The landlady

Tandleman said...

Cheers 'chelle. Speak soon.

Anonymous said...

If you stop drinking there will you change your name Tandleman

Tandleman said...

Won't be stopping drinking there unless it closes or goes keg.

Paul Garrard said...

It doesn't sound over hopeful unless someone comes in with an imaginative winning formula. What about a drinkers co-operative?

Tandleman said...

It has been thought of as a backstop, but we will have to see what happens.