A LANDLADY has called last orders at one of Eastwood’s most popular pubs because of the soaring cost of bills.
After 11 years running the Foresters Arms in Newthorpe, Eileen Mitchell was forced to retire a year early because of increasing VAT, tax, insurance and utility bills.
The 64-year-old said: “Things are going to get worse this year with the extra VAT and prices going up.
“Insurance, tax, VAT, gas and electric – the bills are astronomical. Then you have wages, licences for music. It’s a lot. I don’t want to worry about it any more. I’ve had enough.”
Mrs Mitchell said the soaring costs make it particularly difficult for managers running brewery-owned pubs, like herself.
“There’s no chance of anybody making a living really, particularly if you’re a tenancy,” she said.
New managers are lined up to take over the pub – but some regular customers fear for its future without Mrs Mrs Mitchell.
Keith Rodgers said it was the best pub in the area and the ‘fantastic’ landlandy was the reason why it was so popular. He said the new owners were bound to struggle financially if Mrs Mitchell did.
The 67-year-old, of Lower Beauvale, said: “I’ll bet it will be closed in six months. The brewery will probably just sell the site and put a housing development on it because it’s a huge plot.
“Pubs are disappearing like the wind and this is the best pub in the area if you ask me and Eileen’s leaving because she’s not making enough profit. It’s awful.”
Mr Rodgers, said the landlady was ‘worth her weight in gold’.
“She’s a simple soul but she did everything for everybody. She was a wonderful, wonderful lady. People worshipped her.”
A party was thrown last Saturday night for Mrs Mitchell, her staff and her customers, and she left on Monday.
Mrs Mitchell ran the Palmerston Arms for four years before she moved to the Foresters Arms.