As British as fish and chips, the pub is synonymous with our cultural landscape, but as they close at a rate of 27 per week, can they still be viewed as an essential part of the community?
A recent study undertaken by the University of Oxford points to the affirmative. It found that those who regularly visit their local pub are significantly happier than people who don’t. Not only do they claim better life satisfaction and are less likely to drink to excess, they have more friends. Steve Keegan, Founder of Late Knights Brewery, argues that pubs play a big part in creating the feel of togetherness: ‘there’s a sense of belonging. So many customers are trying to find that. When you get a 75-year-old bloke and kids with beards and skinny jeans drinking in the same place, that’s wicked.’
The quality of the business helps and the rise of the gastro pub will certainly have played a part in increasing a neighbourhood’s popularity. Once established, gastro pubs lure other businesses eager for a slice of the pie. These in turn create more attention and attract serious buyers, therefore increasing the market value and desirability of the area.
The rise of local breweries indicates a public who care more about what they’re consuming and where they’re buying their drinks from. This enthusiasm for locally-run businesses can also be seen with the £1.5 million fund government grant that helps local people take control of pubs at risk of closure.
As London Beer Week fast approaches, we look at some properties currently available in close proximity to the pubs taking part: