'Cheap store booze left my pub dreams in rubble'
Published 14 Sep 2012 11:30 7 Comments
THE Comrie Tavern could soon be reduced to rubble after its owner submitted plans to have it demolished.
The pub shut its door for the final time in July after several years of dwindling sales.
Its owner, David Forrest (44), is born and bred in Oakley and fulfilled a dream by running a pub in his local area.
But spiralling costs, cheap supermarket booze deals and chain pubs all played their part in ruining that dream and forcing the shutters down on the pub for good.
David, who has owned the Tavern for the last six years, said, "I've seen the decline over time. It's hard to compete when people can go into the supermarket and buy three cases of beer for £20.
"Everybody used to go out to the pub to watch the football but over time it's just got less and less. Plus, there are so many overhead costs; you've got heat, electricity, water rates, wages, stock.
"So much money was going out of my pocket and I wasn't getting anything back."
David works full-time on overhead power lines as a project manager and left the running of the pub to his sister, Kay Henderson.
He sunk £27,000 of his own money into the pub to try to keep it afloat, but the situation did not improve and the burden on David increased as time went on.
"It was beginning to affect my health," said David, "and it was becoming harder and harder for my sister to run the place.
"I suppose lots of independent pubs will be feeling the pressure just now and in a small community it's always difficult to keep everyone happy.
"There's a bad drugs scene in Oakley just now and I made it clear to a few young boys that I wasn't going to stand for it and fell out with a few people in the process.
"In a small place you have to try to get on with everyone and that's not always easy."
The Tavern has been part of the community for more than 25 years; it was previously owned by Ronnie Clark who bought the property next door and turned it into a lounge bar.
The experience has left David disappointed and he does not expect to ever return to the pub trade.
He said, "I can honestly say that I'll never own another pub. I've got a decent paying job but it got to the point where I needed to have that just to keep the place running."
There are currently no plans in place for the land after the demolition and David's planning application proposes building two semi-detached houses in place of the Tavern.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 14 Sep 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 14, 12:51
Sep 14, 19:32
Time moves along. The day of the drinking man's pub is past. People now look for a welcoming comfortable environment and good food as well as drink. Off-licences have always been around. Supermarkets aren't the cause of pubs going bust - you can't have a night out in a supermarket.
Recommend? Yes 12 No 2
Sep 16, 16:11
Sep 17, 01:01
the pubs made a fortune over the years from us ,through no fault of them when they banned smoking we stopped going out ,NO WAY WILL I SMOKE IN STREET if the pubs could go back to snug rooms for smokers with proper air extractors then I might consider , in the meantime I will sit cosy watching tele with glass in hand ,and a whole lot cheaper
Recommend? Yes 4 No 4
Sep 17, 02:46
Sep 17, 09:25
Sep 20, 19:39