News, Culture & Society

Why the Saturday pint and a curry is on the wane

A cultural shift is seeing a decline in the tradition of a night in the pub followed by a curry or a chow mein.

For pubs, Indian and Chinese restaurants are shutting down in a shift to a café and coffee shop culture.

And new figures suggest the future belongs to vegans, plus fans of American style diners, Caribbean, Turkish, and Middle Eastern dishes.

Some 254 pubs have closed their doors over the past 12 months according to new research 

As well as pubs, some 79 Indian restaurants have also closed down in the past year, file photo

As well as pubs, some 79 Indian restaurants have also closed down in the past year, file photo

High street analysts have discovered that some 254 pubs put up the shutters over the past 12 months.

At the same time, some 79 Indian restaurants and another 62 Chinese restaurants closed their doors for the last time.

The same cultural shift is also killing off the nightclub, where groups of young people would dance and drink themselves into oblivion at weekends. For figures show the number is down by 74 in the past year.

The figures have been collated by the Local Data Company (LDC), which found people are looking for other ways to socialise.

As a result, there has been an increase of 409 in the number of independent cafes and tearooms, while another 225 coffee shops have opened.

The number of takeaways rose by 215 and the figure for restaurant bars, offering food and expensive cocktails rather than the nightclub’s sticky carpets and grim loos, increased by 210.

Looking ahead, the LDC said: ‘Independent vegan restaurants have experienced significant growth and have more than doubled in number from 8 to 17 in the past 12 months.

‘Other cuisines to enjoy a boost are Jamaican (+11), Middle Eastern (+29), Caribbean (+35), Turkish (+59) and American (+73).’

The LDC said places to eat and drink have seen a dramatic increase as high streets switch from being places to shop to centres to socialise.

LDC’s Matthew Hopkinson said: ‘The growth of food and beverage outlets across Great Britain has been consistent and strong.

‘For many high streets, shopping centres and retail parks it is now an essential part of their offer, where previously one in ten units would have been typical to see, now one in four or even three is the norm.’

However, he doubts that the growth will continue, pointing to the rise of takeout food delivery services from the likes of Uber and Just Eat.

The LDC’s evidence on the decline of the pub confirm recent figures from the Campaign for Real Ale which said one in three have closed in the past 40 years, bringing the total down to 50,000.

CAMRA blames rising costs, such as business rates, alongside higher beer taxes, which have driven up cost of a pint to more than £4 in some parts of country.

The editor of CAMRA’s new Good Beer Guide, Roger Protz, is calling for action to support pubs, which are vital for the community and social life of the country.

‘The British pub is unique – it is rooted in our island’s history, dating from Roman and Saxon times,’ he said.

‘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.’


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