Chestnut Tree Farm in Ipswich is one of nine new pubs being launched by Greene King this year

Chestnut Tree Farm in Ipswich. Picture: Chestnut Tree

Chestnut Tree Farm in Ipswich. Picture: Chestnut Tree - Credit: Archant

Greene King is to call time on more than 100 pubs this year, another sign that the days of some boozy neighbourhood pubs may be numbered. But the chain’s latest offerings, including its new pub in Ipswich, cater to a different kind of customer.

The pub chain is expected to close between 100 and 110 over the next year while opening nine new outlets, including The Chesnut Tree Farm which launched on August 20.

The new pub is branded as a Farmhouse Inn with a carvery concept, and is located on Donald Mackintosh Way, near the Copdock Interchange, in order to catch the passing commuter trade.

A spokesman for the pub chain explained that “a number of” the new pubs are new build Farmhouse Inn branded pubs.

“Farmhouse Inns all provide a great space for families thanks to the specially-designed family dining zones. These allow children to play between courses and stay occupied thanks to our indoor children zones full of toys, consoles and learning activities, something which many other pubs and restaurants do not offer.

“Farmhouse Inns welcome everyone along and having different zones allows customers to pick what suits them, meaning everybody can feel comfort.”

Farmhouse Inns originated in the north of England but has now become a core Greene King brand, alongside Hungry Horse, Chef and Brewer and Greene King Locals.

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Greene King currently runs about 2,850 pubs, under both its own name and other brands.

At Greene King’s full year results in June, the company announced it had closed 100 pubs last financial year, and confirmed that 100 to 110 would close this year.

A Greene King spokesman said: “We are continuing to review our estate, opening some pubs and closed others. We are continually adjusting to the market and refining the estate as part of our business plan.”

But while the brewer is shrinking its pub estate, its also riding a wave of “positive momentum” when it comes to sales, thanks to the months-long heatwave and World Cup glory. Like-for-like sales jumped by 2.8% in the 18 weeks to September – and 3.2% comparable growth over the last 10 weeks.