Pubs have been through hell in the last 18 months, and I’m delighted (though surprised) that so many of them seem to have survived into the Autumn of 2021. Of my GBG targets so far, only one (Urmston) hasn’t yet re-opened, and that’s more due to growth than decline.

So I remain positive about pubs, and will overlook the little occasional foibles of table service, warm cask and £7 pints.

But goodness me, pubs are struggling letting us pub goers know when they’re open.

The worst result is when you turn up and a pub is unexpectedly closed all day,

but tipping up at 2pm and finding it closed till 4 is equally irritating.

Sherringtons opened at 2pm, said Facebook.

Not ideal for the busy ticker, but OK, so I had that leisurely walk round Wigan and chicken bites at Spoons.

Then I dawdled round lovely Mesnes Park, with its black and white gorgeousness and Victorian fountains.

And then I wandered down to be first in on the stroke of 14:00.


I’m surprised to see you open, thought it was 2 ?”

A long staff debate ensued about their opening hours.

What time do we open ?”

Well, I was here at 11

The consensus seemed to be a midday opening on Tuesdays, which I now challenge any of you to find on Facebook, websites, What Pub (actually, that says 1pm) or smoke signal.

2 hours drinking time wasted. Luckily the beer and welcome was great.

and as a neighbourhood bar with scenic views to All Star Removals it’s hard to beat.

Oh, top toiletries too.

But these inconsistencies between times on the different platforms are really bugging me. Another Landlord said they’re not allowed to change the times on Facebook, which sounds both daft and infuriating.

Perhaps a pinned post listing the hours, rather than the latest pub quiz winner, would be a good idea.

Hilariously, my next stop on the way back to Manchester (which I’ll anonymise), found another micro shut all day despite Facebook promising it was open.

I let the owner know. Their Facebook page now says “Temporarily Closed” (it isn’t, I’ve just been).


  1. There is a really weird mix of not showing up when they say their open and then not posting the correct hours when they are open. Either way you would think this was very correctable. They have got to be assuming only local people intend to visit. A very sad assumption in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilarious ain’t it, and much worse since COVID but depressingly it’s not new neither. The pub I was aiming for yesterday had several conflicting opening times online and the phone number on WhatPub remained unanswered. So I chose Friday in the hope it would be more like a weekend opening, and the worst case online seemed to be 3pm. At 3pm and no sign of life, a lass eventually appeared and told me she wasn’t involved in the pub, it was usually open at this time, she didn’t know where they were or what was happening…

    It’s at this point I decided to forget about schlepping across to the other small town for another no phone number/conflicting hours pub, and in fact stop blogging completely. This s**t is getting in the way of my enjoying pubs, enough is enough, and past history tells me it’s not going to get any better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blimey. And I thought I was in a bad mood writing that post.

      Beer Twitter are probably reading this and smugly thinking “Why don’t they just sit at home in their underpants and drinks cans of lovely micro beer like us ?”, but then like me you’ll know the joy of just sitting in pubs, whether playing trad games or not.

      I just spent 20 minutes trying to work out it was the New Inn in Heanor that upset you (name them, shame them) and it does indeed say open all day. And I can confirm that those micro pubs NEVER answer their phone during the day either.


      1. Funnily enough, the micros were pretty much open when they said they’d be, and doing a good job of it. The Redemption Ale House is a beaut’. It’s the seriously out the way locals pubs that are letting the side down, they’re clearly run for the pleasure of their licensees and locals, not visitors like ourselves. I’ve felt for a long time now that the whole point of my blog is to promote a kind of pub that clearly doesn’t want promoting and couldn’t care less about attracting trade. The New Inn is just the latest in a long list of disappointments…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The old publish your trading hours moan.

    Have you ever wondered why franchised outlets are more likely to succeed than independent outlets? It could be the marketing, consumer familiarity with the offer. It could also be that franchises are cookie cutter businesses with a procedure & rule book to follow. The buyer isn’t building a personal fiefdom, they are making money and they follow the rules in the book. The independent does it their way and that often means not being bothered about certain things and/or closing early and getting an early night. Running late and opening late and spending the first half hour of trading hours setting up shop and doing what you’d expect to be done in the half hour before opening for trade.

    People claim to prefer independent run business. In pubs the beards like the micro brew no ones ever heard of rather than the familiar bitter. The bankruptcy stats indicate we don’t in general prefer quirky independent businesses. We prefer Greggs, Costa Coffee, Maccys and Spoons. We are not wrong to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s why Marston’s beer brands are the most consistent, that’s why the flat black in independent coffee houses is cold before you drink it, and that’s why we stop in Spoons and McDonalds for free loo trips rather than the Petersgate Tap.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This an absolute bugbear of mine. You’ll be surprised to know have ranted 🤬 about it more than a few times during twenty years of writing away guides for The Mighty Glovers. If they haven’t got an internet/social media presence at all fair do’s, not every landlord wants to spend time in that direction… then it’s the tender mercies of What Pub?… which after all is the work of volunteers. But latest example – just been revising and updating the pub/bar section for our trip to Chesterfield at beginning of October: out of 17 establishments with an on-line presence 7 (SEVEN) had either no such information, or in two cases which conflicted across their different media.

    I mean, as a business relying on physically getting punters through the front door, why wouldn’t you be clear when those doors are open?! Apart from an address, opening hours is the most basic piece of information to provide your potential customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Weekday hours just don’t seem important to many pubs. The tiny cabal of locals know, because they are there and it’s these that the pub are actually opening for. Everyone else only ever goes for the karaoke/open mic/quiz etc. on Friday and Saturday night, or the Sunday Lunches, so that looks after itself. Everyone else can, it would seem, sod off! It’s taken a while, but I’ve now got the message.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Spot on. Glad it’s not just precious little tickers like me who get frustrated.

      Don’t confuse this with “Why aren’t all pubs open 9-midnight Mon-Sun like those Spoons folk” either. Pubs can open whenever they want, just tell us consistently. Many (Atherton last week) don’t even have hours on the door.

      Twenty years ago it hardly mattered when most pubs opened all week and closed afternoons, of course. And I probably trust the places without internet presence more.


      1. The micro near Wigan that defeated me (it had changed its closed day from Wednesday to Tuesday without saying anything) had different phone numbers on Facebook and What Pub but neither of them were answered at 2pm so I wasted a journey. Many can’t afford wasted journeys.


  5. We had a frustrating outing last week, where the website said 2pm, the sign on the door said 3pm, and at 4pm the place was still in total darkness! Three days later I got a reply to my Facebook message saying they had unexpected staff shortages, which is unfortunate for sure and de rigueur in these troubled times, but a quick post on social media would have been helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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