Mark Bentham set up Beer Box in Bamber Bridge in 2018
(Image: Lancs Live)
The owner of a much-loved micropub and beer shop has issued a plea to customers amid fears for the future of the business.
Mark Bentham set up Beer Box in Bamber Bridge in 2018 alongside friend Mark Murphy, and they’ve since built a loyal customer base and continued to operate the shop side of the business throughout lockdown. Since then, it has faced similar battles to many other hospitality firms with customers only steadily returning to their previous habits.
Now, the cost of living crisis has added huge pressure through energy bills and other rises, and Mark says these factors have created a “recipe for shocking business”. He warned that if trade does not improve, the Beer Box “won’t see the end of February”.
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In a bid to keep his and other businesses viable, he is asking customers to consider using independent venues more often rather than heading to national chains which may be cheaper. Mark said the friends created the business to be “a place for people to make new friends, a place for easy listening background music and great Sunday live music” and believes that has been achieved.
But business remains difficult and it has only become worse as a result of the cost of living crisis. He said: “People’s habits have changed and although it may be beneficial for their physical health, their mental health or financial health (believe me I understand), it’s a recipe for shocking business.
“I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve. I know I’ve told people in the pub how bad things are and I’m often told I shouldn’t talk about it, but here we are. The hospitality industry (as well as others) is on its knees and with rising cost on energy and everything else it’s becoming a very different and difficult proposition.
“The fact is if it doesn’t pick up we won’t see the end of February. I’m just asking that maybe if you’ve been buying from supermarkets or going to your local Wetherspoons (I totally get it, they’re so much cheaper than we are so why wouldn’t you?) to please maybe just have that one drink with us or other indy bars for that matter.”
- 05:40, 2 FEB 2023