If you're planning on a massive pub crawl throughout the U.K. next year, you might want to double-check your travel plans very closely: an industry guide to the best of U.K.'s pubs says that between now and next year, more than 4,000 of them will close.
Is that too harsh an assessment? The Good Pub Guide thinks not, according to the The Drinks Business. In its 2014 edition, the editor's note stirred up controversy by predicting the closure of thousands of pubs that weren't keeping up with modern-day pub standards. From the introduction:
"In the next 12 months between 2,500 and 4,000 pubs will go out of business. This sounds dire, and of course it’s bad news for their staff and regular customers.
"But these are pubs at the bottom of the pecking order, the bad pubs, which still behave as if we are stuck in the 1980s, happy with indifferent food, drink and service and surroundings. It’s high time they closed their doors."
One landlord even compared these flailing pubs closing as "lions picking off the slowest in the herd" — ouch. Of course, the predictions have riled up others in the pub business, and questioned where the stats came from. "The report does not identify the root causes as to why these pubs that survived the depression and the war have been starved of investment," said Steve Kemp, political officer of the GMB union in response. Others stressed to save these pubs under the Localism Act, which allows community members to step in and save their favorite local pubs.
In other (happier) pub news, the same publication also named its "Pub of the Year," The Oilve Branch in Clipsham, Rutland. We guess that's one pub that won't be going anywhere anytime soon.