A Brighton writer has dismissed opposition to Wetherspoons plans to open in the former London Road Co-Op as “snobbish nonsense”
Phil Mellows said Brighton Housing Trust chief executive Andy Winter’s call to launch “the mother of all fights” against the chain opening there were based on a misconception of what a Wetherspoons pub is like.
Mr Mellows, who writes for publicans’ trade magazine the Morning Advertiser and other industry publications, said Wetherspoons pubs are generally well-run, treat their staff well, and the chain is moving upmarket with craft ales and unusual gins.
In a blogpost, he wrote: “It’s true that at one time Wetherspoon was among those operators opening ‘superpubs’ on the new drinking circuits of the 1990s, but a Spoons these days is one of your best bets for finding a seat at a table because there are so many chairs. (That’s one reason I take my 86-year-old mum there.)
“A Spoons on London Road is not going to drag the area down, as Winter and others seem to think. It will attract an audience beyond middle class trendies, if that’s what they’re worried about.
“And if Wetherspoon wins this ‘mother of all fights’, as I fully expect it to, since it’s used to countering this sort of snobbish nonsense, they’ll find me in there, too.”
Wetherspoons has submitted a full planning application to Brighton and Hove City Council – details are not yet available as some technical details are missing.
If successful, it will then need to apply for an alcohol licence.
Disclaimer: Mr Mellows also writes for Wetherspoons News.
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