Pub sentiment pours out, but few punters will part with free hard cash

by Colin Campbell

A CROWDFUNDING appeal by two Inverness pubs battling for survival has failed to attract much support. Hootanannys had set a highly ambitious target of £50,000 but got only around £3,000 of backing. The Gellions was aiming for £35,000 but attracted only a few hundred pounds.

Times have been extremely tough for city pubs which have suffered from restrictions more than any other businesses. But the hope or expectation that sympathetic punters would financially rally in numbers to their aid seemed unrealistic.

In any and every hostelry customers hand money over the bar for a drink and beyond that feelings of charity and goodwill are not in abundant supply.

The Gellions and Hootanannys styled themselves as live music venues, which they are, but I suspect many who have enjoyed drinking in these establishments see them principally as pubs, with a bit of enjoyably lively music thrown in.

Hopefully for the sake of their staff and for the city nightlife scene in general both will pull through their current crisis and survive. But the crowdfinding appeal flop makes it clear they’ll have to do it on their own.

A few city centre bars may be described as historical landmarks steeped in tradition, and sentiment for them may pour out by the keg-full. But none of that is easily turned into offerings of free hard cash.

In the ever changing landscape of city drinking so many have disappeared over the decades that it’s impossible to even begin to try and remember a fraction of their number.

At the end of the day, at the end of the night, at the end of the session, a pub is just a pub.

And if we know anything from history and tradition it is the unsentimental reality that absolutely none are indispensable.

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