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Pub to close as landlord retires after 42 years in the business

PUBLISHED: 09:47 16 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 17 June 2018

John Burroughs has worked in the pub industry with his wife for 50 years    Picture: James Bass

John Burroughs has worked in the pub industry with his wife for 50 years Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

A pub in Great Yarmouth will be closing after applying to have the site converted into two units.

The Cask and Craft pub will close once permission has been granted to convert the site into two units       Picture: James BassThe Cask and Craft pub will close once permission has been granted to convert the site into two units Picture: James Bass

The owners of The Cask and Craft, John and Jenny Burroughs, have taken the difficult decision with a view to retiring after 42 years in the pub trade.

Mr Burrows, 73, said he would have liked to sell on the pub in Northgate Street, commonly known by its former name the Apollo Tavern, but he was unable to do so in the current climate.

He said: “Unfortunately we can’t sell the pub, because banks won’t lend anyone any money, so we haven’t really got a lot of choice.

“Obviously we would have preferred to have sold it, that was supposed to be our pension, but we can’t. So we are trying to divide it up into a couple of units that will bring us rental income.”

Mr Burroughs renamed the pub the Cask and Craft pub, formerly the Apollo Tavern, introducing a range of ales    Picture: James BassMr Burroughs renamed the pub the Cask and Craft pub, formerly the Apollo Tavern, introducing a range of ales Picture: James Bass

Mr Burrows said he and his wife were ready to “sit back and relax and not fill in any paperwork” after working seven days a week for so many years, with the decision made easier by the declining nature of the industry.

He said: “The pubs trade isn’t as good as it used to be - 42 years ago it was a bit different. Back then I was selling beer at 25p a pint.

“The problem is now with every pint I sell I have to hand over 60p to the VAT man, and you can go to Tescos and buy a pint for less than that.

“But the demise was definitely started by the smoking ban.

John Burroughs is looking forward to retirement   Picture: James BassJohn Burroughs is looking forward to retirement Picture: James Bass

“People are all getting these man caves now, so you can have four or five blokes smoking cigars and cigarettes to their heart’s content and we’re not allowed to have it.

“It’s a shame. We’re sorry to our lovely customers that we have got but unfortunately there just aren’t enough of them, that’s the problem.”

Mr Burrows, whose first pub was The Spread Eagle in Norwich, also thinks society as a whole is shifting away from pub culture.

He said: “When I was younger we all went to the pub at lunchtime and had a pint and went to back work. Nowadays you’d get the sack so it has killed the lunchtime trade.

“The whole society has changed really. I think community pubs are on their way out because it is an age thing. When my age group all pop off, the younger people aren’t used to going to pubs.

“So unless you’re a destination pub or a food pub, I don’t think you’ve got much longer.”

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