Sadness for publicans as they call time on rural inn after 16 years
The owners of a pub in the Shropshire countryside have said they are "very sad" to be closing after the pub failed to sell on the open market.
Phil and Debra Wright have decided to close The Baron of Beef - also known as the Baron at Bucknell - after having it on the market for more than twelve months.
Planning permission was granted last month to split the large property, originally a farm, into smaller units and included conversion of the pub to a house.
The couple told planners at Shropshire Council that due to the combined effects of Brexit, Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis, the country inn and hotel in Chapel Lawn Road was no longer viable as a business.
The pub is now set to close its doors for the last time on July 30.
Debra and Phil Wright said: “We are very sad that the business we have worked so hard to build over that last 16 years has not been sold as a going concern. We have taken the difficult decision to close the business so that we can manage the closure and look after our staff.
"Hospitality has had a very challenging few years. Firstly, the effects of Brexit, making staff recruitment much more difficult, then Covid and three lockdowns and most recently the cost of living crisis. These have had a huge impact on the sector."
The couple, who have run the pub for 16 years, added: "We are very proud of the business we have built and the commitment it has taken to drive it forward. It breaks our hearts that all of the work and investment over the years is not going to pass on to someone else to continue.
"We may reopen our three garden rooms from spring next year, operating as a bed and breakfast, if the economic climate improves.
"Any accommodation or restaurant bookings after July 30 have been cancelled as the business will no longer be operating.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers past and present for their support, our girls for their help over the years, Grandma Janet for looking after them, and our great staff who stayed with us after Covid - our ‘Baron Family’, always delivering excellent customer service.
"Until we close, we are all still fully committed to giving you a great time and look forward to welcoming you soon."