Pub landlord forced to pour away £1,500 worth of booze due to Covid-19 lockdown
Written by Bridgwater Mercury on February 22, 2021
A PUB landlord has had to pour £1,500 worth of booze down the drain after the government banned takeaway drinks as part of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Patrick Mahony, 62, stocked up in the belief his pub would be able to sell takeaway alcohol during lockdown.
But when off sales were banned Patrick had to tip gallons worth of pints and says his business is losing money every month.
Patrick, who runs The Winchester Arms in Taunton, Somerset, said: “Because we can’t do takeaway alcohol this time, which we were able to in the previous lockdown, I’ve got more stock in the cellar than I would have had if I’d known we weren’t going to be able to sell.
“I’m going to have to throw between £1,000 and £1,500 worth of beer, cider and lager away because it’s gone off.”
Patrick, who both owns and lives in the pub, is still selling takeaway meals, but reckons he is losing around £4,000-a-month.
He said: “At the moment we’re taking about £1,000-a-week. We’ve also got rent and insurance of £1,000-a-week to pay.
“We’ve got staff to pay, we’ve got gas, electricity – we’re spending about £10,000-a-month for a £4,000 income. We’re losing money.
“The government grants offset that to an extent but we’re getting in about 60 per cent of what we need to.”
Patrick feels insurance companies have much to answer for and can only recall one landlord he knows that has received a pay-out.
“Nobody is being paid out,” he added.
“That’s why it’s going to court – insurance companies are now only saying they’ll only pay out if you had Covid on your premises.”
The ex-school teacher says he expects half of Britain’s pubs to close for good after the pandemic and is calling for regulation of rent costs to help them survive.
He said: “It’s a real unknown whether we’ll be okay. As soon as there were scare stories about pubs spreading the virus people stopped coming.
“But we’ve been jumping through hoops and everything was above board.
“I’ve taken out a bounce-back loan of £50,000, which was supposed to be setting up for reopening, whereas, as it is now, I’m down to about £20,000 of that £50,000 loan and I’ve put in £50,000 of my own money, my own savings.
“I’ve got five years on the lease – even if we stay open for those five years I’ve got to try and claw back enough money to give myself a retirement.”
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