In a shock to ale aficionados and grub lovers alike, Wetherspoons – a household name in British pubs – is set to close 22 branches nationwide. From Eltham to East Ham, fans of the much-loved watering holes are staring down the barrel of last orders as their local boozers shut their doors for good.
Wetherspoons, affectionately known as ‘Spoons by its loyal patrons, have long been woven into the fabric of British society. Famous for its inexpensive meals, inclusive atmosphere, and an array of beers and ales, ‘Spoons has been the go-to spot for the post-work pint, breakfast before a big day out, and even the occasional cheap and cheerful date night.
But this bastion of British culture is about to shrink its empire. A punch to the gut for punters comes in the form of the confirmed closure of three more locations – The Saltoun Inn in Fraserburgh, Scotland, The Bankers Draft in Eltham, London, and The Sir John Arderne in Newark, all set to shut shop by August 20.
In addition to the confirmed casualties, The Nightjar in Ferndown, Dorset, will also see its lease expire in September. This comes from warnings issued last year when Wetherspoons put 32 pubs on the market. The total tally of venues closed or set to close stands at an eye-watering 29.
Wetherspoons, with 827 pubs across the UK, stated in a recent trading update that the affected establishments are typically smaller, older, or have another ‘Spoons within staggering distance.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for Wetherspoons fans. Amid the closures, three new watering holes have opened their doors over the past year.
Yet, for those eager to know the fate of their beloved local, here are the 13 ‘Spoons that are currently under offer and risk closing:
- Asparagus, Battersea
- Capitol, Forest Hill
- Coronet, London
- Foxley Hatch, Purley
- General Sir Redvers Buller, Crediton
- Hudson Bay, Forest Gate
- Millers Well, East Ham
- The Alfred Herring, Palmers Green
- The Bankers Draft, Eltham – set to close on August 20
- The Butlers Bell, Stafford
- The Cross Keys, Peebles
- The Percy Shaw, Halifax
- The Widow Frost, Mansfield
Additionally, the following nine pubs are also on the market and could face last orders soon, although they remain open for now:
- Jolly Sailor, Hanham
- Lord Arthur Lee, Fareham
- Moon on the Hill, Harrow
- Plough & Harrow, Hammersmith
- Resolution, Middlesbrough
- Sennockian, Sevenoaks
- The Rising Sun, Redditch
- The Sir John Arderne, Newark – set to close on August 20
- Wrong ‘Un, Bexleyheath
So, while you might have to bid farewell to your favourite corner booth or say goodbye to that cherished sticky carpet, take solace in the fact that ‘Spoons will continue to be a part of the British landscape, albeit a somewhat reduced one. In the meantime, grab a pint, order that famous full English, and raise a glass to your local while you still can.