Better a Bistro Pub than a supermarket or Indian and there are enough chimneys around and far enough from trouble for it to succeed. It must however be closed for 3 months to lose its image and it must be selective in who it then re admits, sounds snobby I know but to kill its old name it has to be very selective in future customers.
Tried the Hikers a couple of times after home cricket matches in Stanmer park back in the last century - never felt welcoming ...
Switched to the Swan and once you'd been served by grumpy John there was an okay atmosphere - table footy was also popular using the old 1d coin.
Also remember the strip at the Ship - marvellous scenes ....
That changed to flats a few years ago, always empty apart from a few locals and a drab place.
Regarding students they seem to drink at home more now like the rest of us and then venture out after ten at night.
You forget when we were young wide eyed and bushy tailed the pubs shut at 11 so we crammed it in and drinks were alot cheaper, smoking, bands in pubs, fighting and topless dancing in any order.
PsYcHoBiLlY fReAkOuT "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law"
[QUOTE=heathgate;7615011]It always annoys me that the smoking ban gets the blame for the demise of pubs.... in almost all cases it's the defunct business model of the various Pubcos..... buying pubs, charging landlords extortionate rents, then putting them on the market to gain a huge profit from the sale to cover the massive debts these corporations carry to finance the strategy in the first place.
The smoking ban was a huge contributor to the failure of the traditional drinking pub. As was the decision of supermarkets to sell beer and spirits as loss leaders.
You could argue that the beer tie led to the failure of a lot of smaller pubs, because the pubco/brewery charged above market, but in return, the landlord got operational support and a fully repairing lease. Yes pubcos took on too much debt, but they struggled because of the evolution of the market - I doubt old fashioned pubs would have survived regardless. The business model of the traditional pub is now totally outdated. Brewers still own a number of pubs but there are so many variations based on local population/demographics etc, the old working class boozer is a thing of the past.
TBH - I don't miss them......