Monday, June 27, 2011

Fair Pint founder faces eviction from pub

I'll describe just one instance, of many, of how S&NPC's (read: 'Any Pubco') involvement works in exactly the opposite way to how it ought to:

In 2004 I had an exhibitions programme which was booked up as much as 18 months ahead. It was a very successful thing that constantly introduced new customers to the pub, gave quite a number of artists their first sales and set a couple of them up with their career. Over the years I'd had people such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Gavin Turk put work in for group shows. It attracted a lot of press coverage and helped keep my business in the London news. I'd been doing shows since 1995 when I opened, it was one of several USP's which others have taken up and integrated into their pub businesses from scratch.

Because I expected to be put out of business by my September 2005 rent review I began turning people down for exhibitions toward the back end of 2004 and didn't book anything past early 2006. Call me shortsighted, call me irresponsible but I cannot offer commitment to people that I believe I'm unable to deliver on.

If I were a clairvoyant I might have continued with exhibitions - had I realised the rent review and arbitration would take years to come to some kind of stupid resolution which serves no one (except West Register which, as Karl says, is probably looking for vacant possession, I know I would be).

There's not a single aspect of my year to year planning, focus and attention to detail that has not been adversely affected by the way S&NPC handles the lease. They bring NO VALUE to my business, just barriers, hurdles and a general air of pointlessness to the whole thing.

After that there is an abiding, inescapable knowledge that as you get your head down to work your butt off and make the business busier they will always just shaft you even harder at rent review. I'm sick of the lies and deceit that riddle the pub sector, this industry is a farce; a disgrace.

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