Sunderland pub boss ‘devastated’ as venues go into administration

Tony Griffiths outside The Queen Vic at Roker.
Tony Griffiths outside The Queen Vic at Roker.
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A PUB boss has vowed to bounce back after three of his venues went into administration at the weekend.

The Echo revealed on Saturday that The Queen Vic in Roker, Eastender in High Street East and the Pullman Lodge Hotel in Roker have been taken over by financial specialist PwC.

The moves comes after Paddywhacks in Green Terrace went into administration last month.

Now boss Tony Griffiths has spoken of his disappointment at having to hand over the keys to the four venues. The Wylam Group retains Ttonic and The Glass Spider in the city centre and Cheers in High Street East.

“I am devastated by this action, as we have put millions of pounds of our own money into the Sunderland evening economy over the last seven years,” said Mr Griffiths.

“But it has been increasingly difficult to maintain our profitability as the costs on our industry just keep climbing and the cheap drinks prices we have to compete with are just impossible since the major changes to the licensing laws.

“It is not just in Sunderland, I might add – there have been many casualties in this recession and, unfortunately, we are one of those,

“It is really ironic how our bank are not prepared to support us through these tough times when three years ago they were virtually throwing money at us.”

He vowed staff and local suppliers would not be left out of pocket.

“We have made sure that everyone’s jobs are safe (except our own). Also I will personally honour all local suppliers’ debts,” he said.

“I am really confident we can start again and build a great business once more. I want our story to be inspirational to young business people and for them to realise life goes on through the tough times and, if you keep your drive and self-belief, you can still achieve great things in business.”

Twitter: @Sunechobiz