The number of pubs in the UK is in decline. The BBC reported that in the second half of 2017, around 18 pubs were closing every week, according to data from The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). There are a number of reasons thought to be behind this, around changing consumption habits. While the number of pubs may be in decline, the number of coffee shops is still on the rise. The two are not necessarily directly related, although some of the changing consumption patterns may lead to both of these changes – as explored in my article ‘Cafe Nation: Exploring the growth of the UK cafe industry‘.
I’ve noticed in the past that some former pubs have become coffee shops – The Bear and Beignet in Isham (Northamptonshire) was one example, although this closed down too. More recently in Desborough, also in Northamptonshire, a former pub, the Kings Arms had been transformed into a branch of Costa Coffee.
The pub was a Grade II listed building dating back to the early 1700s, so I imagine Costa were relatively limited in what they could do the building itself, but it is interesting to see that the high street coffee shop chains continue to expand into different spaces, including those that would formerly have been pubs. If anyone knows of any coffee shops that have taken over spaces that were formerly pubs I’d be interested to hear about them.
Thanks to my Dad for heading back to Desborough to take the photographs for me!