December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
A popular seafront pub has closed due to “unforeseen circumstances”, reigniting concerns about the future of Suffolk’s drinking establishments.
Greene King, which owns the Buregate at Sea Road, Felixstowe, said the closure was “temporary” and that it hoped to reopen the pub in due course.
“Unfortunately, the Buregate in Felixstowe has closed temporarily, due to unforeseen circumstances,” a spokesman said.
“We would like to reassure customers that we do intend to reopen it in due course and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Nigel Smith, Camra’s Suffolk area organiser, feared the closure was indicative of a general decline in the industry.
“People aren’t using pubs as much as they were and that’s the bottom line,” he said.
“It’s a lifestyle change, people are more likely to be at home using their tablet computers or watching their big screen TVs than they are visiting their local.”
The real ale fan said this trend has led to many pubs curtailing their opening hours and remaining closed on certain days.
Seasonally-dependent pubs, such as the Buregate, which rely on its summer trade, have fared particularly poorly, he said.
Mr Smith has, however, noticed several Suffolk“success stories” of late in which independent publicans have taken over brewery owned pubs to reintroduce a number of free houses.
This, he said, has followed an increasing trend among the large pub chains seeking to off-load premises they deem to be less profitable.
“Often if a pub becomes a total free house, it can work very well,” he said. “But without the resources behind it , they can also struggle if there’s a need for a refurbishment. Most of them in Suffolk seem to do very well.”