THE landlady of an Old Town pub is selling up after 10 years in the wake of rising costs and dwindling customer numbers.
Linda Burrage, 59, of The Crown Inn, in All Saints Street, has not reached her decision lightly but no longer feels up to the challenge of keeping the pub running.
She said: “It has been my life. I wanted to go on for a little bit more, but I can’t handle the stress, I feel battered and bruised.”
She added that she knew of other pubs in the town experiencing similar difficulties.
She said: “I think a few more will go, I have heard some horror stories from around the town.”
In the Observer late last year, as part of a feature on the decline of pub culture in Hastings and St Leonards, we reported that 30 pubs had closed in the last 20 years.
Linda said that the smoking ban, brought into force in July 2007, had hit business hard, particularly during the winter months when people were not prepared to stand outside.
The Crown Inn has been on the market for just over a week and the agent Fleuret, has had some interest expressed. There is the possibility of an alternative use for the building, subject to planning permission.
Linda said: “Somebody might come along and take it over as a pub. I have got mixed emotions about it at the moment.
“It will be quite sad to see it go on as a pub without me.”
The two part-time staff will lose their jobs when The Crown closes its doors, but the landlady will lose her home as well as her business, and faces an uncertain future. Although she does have fond memories of the last 10 years at The Crown and her time in the pub trade.
She said: “It has been brilliant. I have been in the trade for 42 years, and I have enjoyed every minute of it apart from the last year.”