A pub landlord has been forced to pour beer and cider worth £1,500 down the drain after takeaway pints were outlawed under England’s third national lockdown.
Pubs and bars have been blighted by the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions since March last year.
As tiered-restrictions saw pubs allowed to serve takeaway pints, Patrick Mahony, landlord of The Winchester Arms in Taunton, decided to stock up on beer and cider.
But the latest lockdown – which began last month – has ruined his plans and he has been forced to pour the booze down the drain.
Mr Mahony, who lives and works at the pub, believes lockdown is costing him around £4,000-a-month.
Patrick Mahony stocked up on beer and cider in the hope he would be able to sell takeaway pints from The Winchester Arms in Taunton, Somerset
Lockdown restrictions mean he has been unable to sell beer or cider, leaving him with no choice but to pour it all down the drain
The 62-year-old said: ‘Because we can’t do takeaway alcohol this time, which we were able to in the previous lockdown, I’ve got more stock in the cellar than I would have had if I’d known we weren’t going to be able to sell.
‘I’m going to have to throw between £1,000 and £1,500 worth of beer, cider and lager away because it’s gone off.’
While alcohol sales are off, Mr Mahony has been able to make some money by selling takeaway meals.
He said: ‘At the moment we’re taking about £1,000-a-week. We’ve also got rent and insurance of £1,000-a-week to pay.
While alcohol sales are off, Mr Mahony has been able to make some money by selling takeaway meals, but he fears he is still losing around £4,000 a month
The landlord says he knows of one other pub that has received an insurance pay-out during the pandemic
‘We’ve got staff to pay, we’ve got gas, electricity – we’re spending about £10,000-a-month for a £4,000 income. We’re losing money.
‘The government grants offset that to an extent but we’re getting in about 60 per cent of what we need to.’
He feels insurance companies have much to answer for and can only recall one landlord he knows that has received a pay-out.
‘Nobody is being paid out,’ he added.
‘That’s why it’s going to court – insurance companies are now only saying they’ll only pay out if you had Covid on your premises.’
The ex-school teacher says he expects half of Britain’s pubs to close for good after the pandemic and is calling for regulation of rent costs to help them survive.
Mr Mahnony fears half of Britain’s pubs could close for good as a result of the Covid pandemic
He said: ‘It’s a real unknown whether we’ll be okay. As soon as there were scare stories about pubs spreading the virus people stopped coming.
‘But we’ve been jumping through hoops and everything was above board.
‘I’ve taken out a bounce-back loan of £50,000, which was supposed to be setting up for reopening, whereas, as it is now, I’m down to about £20,000 of that £50,000 loan and I’ve put in £50,000 of my own money, my own savings.
‘I’ve got five years on the lease – even if we stay open for those five years I’ve got to try and claw back enough money to give myself a retirement.’