Thousands of publicans are struggling to make a living, with the smoking ban, high beer tax and "unfair" prices charged by pub companies being blamed. The government has promised to act, but will it do enough?
- bbc: can politicians save british pubs?
I think the traditional British pub would do well in becoming more inclusive of new traditions.
For instance, it could draw in coffee-drinkers from the coffee-chains as well. Given that pubs enjoy longer opening hours, this might work in its favour. However, cup-design is important in this respect. Those fat mugs of coffee sold by coffee-outlets do not make it easy for a person to mingle around or go on a friendly walkabout in a pub for fear of scalding one’s hand or staining the carpet. Tall heatproof cups, or takeaway-style cups might do the trick. The point is to enable the coffee-drinker to be as mobile about the pub as are pint-holders. That is a part of the British pub culture isn’t it. It’s not just about the booze, but the ease with which one might saunter from table to table, or fruit machine to pool table.
Secondly, to get around the ‘smoking ban’ in pubs, and do their bit to discourage smoking as well, pubs could welcome ‘e-cigarette smokers’, or ‘vapers’ as they call themselves. And they wouldn’t need to invest in smoke-extractors either, and yet be able to avail themselves of air-fresheners that ‘e-cigs’ double as.
I personally like going to pubs, but do not like to drink much, and do not like to be confined to a table because of the design of my cup of coffee which is more suited to be appreciated whilst seated. The coffee-machine at my local pub is also situated away from the bar as if it is an alien part of the pub. Aesthetically, or decor-wise, it is already exclusive.
One needs to be able to associate the pub with coffee or tea as well as a pint or a half, instead of alliteratively associating the pub with a pint. ~ ed
One could even say that pubs not being inclusive in this respect is dividing the nation between the pint-holders and coffee-drinkers and reducing its support base. Not many are going to bother moving from a coffee-outlet when it closes at 6 or so, on to a pub for more coffee. Hence, to present the pub as a coffee-outlet as well is to give coffee-drinkers, or teetotallers a reason to bypass coffee-outlets. I personally wouldn't mind half a pint of coffee topped with ice and a brolly.