Norwich landlady speaks out as Good Pub Guide calls for ‘bad pubs’ to close

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at the Rose in Queens Road and the Ketts Tavern in Ketts Hill, both in Norwic

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at the Rose in Queens Road and the Ketts Tavern in Ketts Hill, both in Norwich. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Licensees have attacked The Good Pub Guide 2014 after it claimed that up to 4,000 pubs across the country will close in the next year.

The guide, which is edited by Alisdair Aird and Fiona Stapley, argues that these pubs are 'stuck in the 1980s' and offer indifferent drink and food.

And it suggests that, while the closures may be bad news for staff and customers, it was high time 'bad pubs' went out of business, giving visionary and energetic licensees a chance to open new ones.

It predicts that more than 1,000 new pubs will open next year, often in former hostelries that have been shut for years.

Licensees said it was a 'sweeping statement' to dismiss pubs that are forced to close as 'bad pubs' and accused the guide of chasing publicity.


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Dawn Hopkins, landlady at the Rose in Queens Road and the Ketts Tavern in Ketts Hill, both in Norwich, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I'm absolutely appalled that the Good Pub Guide has decided to publicise itself by just slating the pub industry when there's so many things against us at the moment.

'The problem is yes, there are a few rubbish pubs out there – but there are also some very good pubs and good pub landlords that we've lost and it's nothing to do with them being bad pubs, it's to do with what's happening in the industry.'

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She said that landlords were facing high rents and competition from cheap supermarket alcohol, among other problems. And she warned that without money coming into the industry it was not easy to improve.

• More on this story on this website on Friday.

What can pubs do to survive? What is your favourite pub in Norfolk? Let us know by commenting below.

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