Groups like Urban Pubs & Bars which has London pubs including The Gatehouse in Highgate Village and The Whippet Inn in Kensal Green have offered fresh fruit and veg along with meat boxes and also the opportunity to purchase some of your favourite beer and wine to go. It will be interesting to see where this diversification leads especially if there is a growing trend to localism – and what’s more local than your ‘local’?
They’re already multi-faceted venues: places to grab a drink with friends, have a meal, watch live sport, or to showcase your general knowledge skills in the great pub quiz. Pubs have long trading days and can explore how they can further utilise both this and the, often considerable, space that they occupy. There will be substantial demand for spaces where people can work without commuting into the office and you can see pubs in satellite locations around London having a role to play in meeting this demand.
For pubs to have a blended offer which encompassed retailing, food delivery, workspace, entertainment and not forgetting what’s on offer behind the bar could prove compelling and lucrative.
The future of the Great British Pub certainly shouldn’t be judged by the rather ‘near beer’ version we’ll have for the immediate future. Yes, it’s great to be back in your favourite pub again, but social distancing constraints means that for the time being at least, we won’t be able to enjoy the same convivial interaction which sparks those memorable nights.
But what is certain is that the British pub will survive and adapt. We’ve had them for nearly 2,000 years since the invading Romans opened their tabernae - or ‘taverns’ - which morphed into alehouses and on to the pubs we know today, and it will be fascinating to watch their next stage of evolution.
Director, Head of UK Leisure Agency