Councillors and anti-alcohol campaigners have hit out at proposals for a “PoundPub” in Stockton that could serve pints for as little as £1.50.
Plans have been put forward to replace Georgia Browns, on Dovecot Street, with a new “no frills” tavern aimed at daytime drinkers, that could have halves for £1.
And director of the pub’s owner, Here to You Hospitality, Mark Wardell said a trial in Greater Manchester had proven there was a demand for such an outlet.
“Our target market is the daytime drinker and we were very successful in attracting that type of customer,” Mr Wardell, whose pub could have three cask ales on tap, told The Publican’s Morning Advertiser.
But the town centre is currently undergoing a £38m refurbishment and councillors have expressed concerns about both the cost of booze in the proposed pub and that it could “cheapen” the area at a time when they hope to create a more up-market night time economy.
Eaglescliffe representative Phil Dennis told the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette that he had reservations about the plans.
“I have initial doubts and concerns about the ability of such a venue to control the environment where effectively we are selling at a point where the quality of clientele will likely match the price of the product on offer,” he said.
Meanwhile Colin Shevells, director of North East anti-alcohol group Balance, told the Northern Echo that drink is already “too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted,” and the new pub would hardly help.
“We know that problems are caused by alcohol being too cheap,” he said. “The PoundPub is just part of a much bigger problem.
“We need to wake up to the problems cheap alcohol is causing both in the short and long term.
“We need to find a way to bring in a minimum price that doesn’t penalise the moderate drinker and the good solid community pub.
“So many of them are closing because they can’t compete and this will make it worse.”
It is believed the PoundPub could open as soon as Easter, and an application has been made to Stockton Council for a license to sell alcohol from 8am.