Sunderland pub owners battling city centre chains

Independent bar owners are trying to encourage people to use the instead of the chain pubs. Pictured l-r are Alice Morrison of BarOne, Karen Dickman of Gatsby, Michael Hall of Brogans/Privilage and Criag Lynch of The Corner Flag/Indigo Rooms
Independent bar owners are trying to encourage people to use the instead of the chain pubs. Pictured l-r are Alice Morrison of BarOne, Karen Dickman of Gatsby, Michael Hall of Brogans/Privilage and Criag Lynch of The Corner Flag/Indigo Rooms
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SAVE our pubs – pub owners are calling on Wearsiders to drink local as they struggle to compete against the major chains.

Smaller venues in the city centre have joined forces in the Support Your Local Pub campaign, urging people to drink in their bars rather than larger chains which they claim are pushing them out of the market.

Craig Lynch, owner of Indigo Rooms, The Corner Flag and Baby Indi, said the chains are now starting to dominate Sunderland city centre.

Craig, 37, said: “We’re coming together to try and get people back into these bars in the centre.”

He said that the campaign aimed to get drinkers thinking more about where they were spending their money and how that would affect the local economy.

“At the minute you have the bigger bars dominating the town but the money made isn’t going into Sunderland,” he said.

Michael Hall, who is general manager at Brogans and Privilege has thrown his weight behind the campaign.

Michael, 42, from Roker, said: “We can’t compete with the major companies. They can charge whatever they want for drinks.”

Michael also said the redevelopment work in The Bridges was causing problem for pubs in the area.

“The Bridges is like The Berlin Wall. They close it whenever they want and it stops people getting round to our side of the town and with the Primark redevelopment people are cut off from that way as well.

“We have lost a bit of business because we are not getting people coming to us because of the bigger chains and The Bridges closing. It’s not helping this side of town.”

Michael also urged drinkers to think of how they spend their money in Sunderland.

“Put it back into Sunderland,” he said. “Help your local community.”