|The Caledonia, Liverpool|
So why it it being sold? Simply because its owners were made "an offer that couldn't be refused". It is not entirely clear who the buyers are, but it seems certain that they don't intend to keep it open as a pub. The pubco's website states: "Admiral Taverns understands that developing great business partnerships with our licensees is the only way to build success. We recognise that our pubs will only thrive and prosper in their communities if we attract passionate people to run them, and then give them all the support they need to maximise their success." And then, once they have maximised their success, chuck them out with 28 days' notice as long as the price is right: 30 pieces of silver, I expect. Laura, who is 28, said, "It's such a shame as a young person who's built up a business which is now in profit for the first time in a long time, to have all that taken away.”
There can be no mistake here: this pub is not closing because it's failing, or because of supermarket prices, the smoking ban, or any other of the usual reasons given. It is closing because of pubco greed, pure and simple. The sick joke here is that on its website, Admiral Taverns boasted in March that it had been awarded Pub Company of the Year at the Publican Awards, which are hosted by the main pub trade magazine, the Morning Advertiser. While they were raising glasses to celebrate their award, they were cheerfully negotiating the destruction of one their own pubs.
More details in Liverpool Confidential here.
P.S. (30 April): further news on this story in the Liverpool Echo.
P.P.S. (4 May): save the pub website and petition here.