The new year has brought little cheer to Scarborough drinkers as a handful of pubs have closed in the last few weeks.
And some staff have been left dismayed too, as some pubs appear to have closed suddenly and without warning; some posting Happy New Year messages on their Facebook pages but closing days later.
Other pubs we've loved and lost: see HERE
One of the most prominent closures is The Old Vic pub and The Victoria Hotel, opposite the railway station, the building in which famous actor Charles Laughton was born, in 1899.
Star Pubs & Bars, which owns it, said in a statement: “The Victoria Hotel was leased to an independent operator to run as their own business. They closed the pub on 7th January without notice. It’s not appropriate for us to comment on a licensee’s individual business arrangements.
“We are currently reviewing the options for The Victoria Hotel’s future operation. The pub will remain closed whilst this process takes place. The building has been secured.
“Mist Bar Scarborough was run by the same operator as the Victoria Hotel, albeit on a temporary agreement whilst a new long term licensee is sought for a planned refurbishment which will give the Mist Bar a new lease of life. In the interim, the pub will be reopened on 16th January with a temporary operator.” Mist Bar has since reopened.
Another closure is that of The Ivanhoe, with landlady Jeanette May posting on Facebook: “It is with a heavy heart I inform you that Julian and I have today officially left The Ivanhoe. It has been a lovely five years, you all have been great to serve, we have had lots of fun and made some amazing friends along the way, however trade has taken a significant decline over that last six months and unfortunately the downturn had a devastating effect on our ability to keep the business going.”
She thanked customers and, especially, the staff.
The Wellington and The Shakespeare pubs have also closed recently.
The futures of those premises is unclear, but the leases of around 17 licensed premises in town are being marketed at the moment, said one pub landlord, who wished to remain anonymous.
He said: “It happens at this time of year – landlords see out Christmas and then close in January. Pub companies are in dire financial straits, they squeeze the tenants and suppliers, and business rates are another factor.
"So too is the cheap beer sold by supermarkets. People preload with booze in their homes and then go into town, and when they stagger around drunk the bars get the blame, even though they started drinking at home."
“Historically the price of a pint hasn’t increased dramatically more than anything else, but margins are slipping and slipping.”