Regulars and guests hoping to enjoy a night out at a Spalding pub have been left in limbo after its sudden closure.
Pints have stopped pouring at The Lincolnshire Poacher in Double Street less than two years after a £100,000 refurbishment.
I understand that the couple were finding it increasingly difficult to make a living there and they were under huge pressure, as pubs are generallyPete Williams, landlord of The Punchbowl, Spalding
The pub, originally built as a 17th century inn and at one time known as The Crane, had been run by Holbeach couple Toni Measures and Kieran Dokuyucu who turned it into a venue for live music, quiz nights and parties.
Pete Williams, landlord of The Punchbowl in New Road which is now on the market, said: “I understand that the couple were finding it increasingly difficult to make a living there and they were under huge pressure, as pubs are generally.
“I don’t believe they were offered an easy way out by the brewery that owns The Lincolnshire Poacher which just forced them to pack up and go.
“It’s a shame the way that it happened because there were bands booked to play at The Lincolnshire Poacher up until the end of the year and there were birthday and other parties booked to happen there as well.
“But I don’t believe they were given any notice and not all of the people who had pre-booked events there are local.”
When Toni and Kieran took over the pub from David Higgins and Caroline Melville in September 2015, their plans were “to get this place lively, get it moving, get it nice and vibrant and see people coming in”, according to Kieran.
In June 2016, the pub was renovated in keeping with its exposed brick walls and log beams, alongside new signs, windows and benches in the Lincolnshire Poacher’s beer garden.
According to the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide 2018, the number of British pubs has fallen from 75,000 in 1971 to less than 50,000 in 2017 as more people choose to drink at home than in the pub.
Roger Protz, editor of The Good Beer Guide 2018, said: “The British pub is unique and rooted in our island’s history, dating from Roman and Saxon times.
“There is no better place for people to meet, enjoy a beer, strike up a conversation, make new friends and put the world to rights.
“Above all, the British pub, both ancient and modern, has character and an atmosphere that could never be replaced.”