Glass half full or half empty - town landlords speak out over Wetherspoons speculation

PUBLISHED: 09:23 23 September 2011

The Manor House in Melbourn Street

The Manor House in Melbourn Street

Archant

LANDLORDS are concerened at the possible purchase of a Royston social club by pub chain JD Wetherspoons

Landlords are concerned at reports claiming a Royston social club may be bought by chain JD Wetherspoon.

The former Manor House Club in Melbourn Street is currently up for sale, and speculation surrounds the future use of the building.

Wetherspoon would not confirm it was looking to buy the building, but a spokesman said: “We’re interested in opening a pub in Royston.

“However, we won’t comment on individual sites.”

Several landlords in the town are concerned that if a Wetherspoon pub –which often sells cheaper drinks – takes on the site it could have a major impact on their businesses and on the town.

Andy Hoy, landlord of the Green Man, said: “I don’t think Royston’s big enough to support an operation like Wetherspoon, and it would have an effect on some businesses.

“I don’t think it would be viable for them either. If they cut the price of their drinks people would drink more, and the rest of the town would have to deal with it.

“We can’t possibly compete on price as we’re tied to the brewery – I just think a Wetherspoon pub would affect pubs and be bad for the town.”

Mr Hoy’s concerns were echoed by the assistant manager of The Old Crown, Wesley Walter, who said a Wetherspoon pub would “slowly kill the town”.

However, Pat Kirwan of The Coach and Horses, remained stoic.

He said: “It would affect everyone at the start, but a Wetherspoon’s is a Wetherspoon’s – you’ve been in one, you have been in them all.”

And Terry Smeeton, Chequers owner, said: “I think it would be a good thing.

“It would bring people into the town.”

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