Wednesday 27 November 2013

The Lion in Burscough to close

I've just heard from a regular that the Lion pub on Liverpool Road South (A59) in Burscough will be closing for business within a day or two. The present manager, Mr 'H' Botha, is unable to carry on paying the high rent to Enterprise Inns and therefore he is calling time before he loses any more money. 'H' has worked tirelessly to turn this pub around, he has invested a large amount of his own money in completely refurbishing the beer garden and decorating the inside of the pub. He was promised a refurbishment of the pub and car park by Enterprise Inns, but it didn't happen. The Lion always has one cask beer on and he'd had plans to add another in the future. Significantly, the area manager is known to have stated that the last three managers of the Lion have failed to turn the pub round and he was considering selling the pub for other uses.

The Lion used to called the Red Lion and efforts have been made appeal more to the food market, although I've heard it suggested that unfortunately it may have lost a bit of its 'pubby' character in the process. Perhaps, but I can't judge I haven't been in there for a while. It's a familiar, but nonetheless still sad, story of pubcos throwing licensee after licensee into a pub and hope that one sticks, and if they don't, they've had a few more months rent. Equally familiar are the promises of work that will be done, promises that are kept until the potential licensee has signed on the dotted line. It doesn't matter to them if in the process someone loses his or her savings and is thoroughly disillusioned in their ambitions to run a pub. 

Let's hope that Mr 'H' Botha and the Lion don't just become more dismal stats. We don't need any more Tesco Expresses.

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