Revealed: Why this popular York pub was forced out

All packed up… the Brigantes on Micklegate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
19 Jun 2020 @ 6.16 pm
| Business

When we revealed that the Brigantes had shut for good, it provoked waves of anger and dismay across York.

Both a community hub and an award-winning haven of food and drink, the Micklegate pub was a very popular part of the city’s social scene.

Now the pub has revealed why it has been forced out.

A post on its Facebook page said:

  • We are extremely disappointed to have been forced to close Brigantes but we were left with no choice, after untenable terms were imposed by our landlord, despite our best efforts to negotiate a fair deal.

Increased rent

The pub will be sorely missed

Some had speculated that the pub’s owner, Market Town Taverns, were behind its closure.

Earlier in the lockdown all salaried staff working for Market Town Taverns were offered voluntary redundancy terms – including pub managers, assistant managers and chefs.

But today’s post made it clear that the problem was not with the owners.

“Brigantes has been a popular, successful and well-managed pub which has made its closure all the more difficult to accept for us,” it said.

“However, we were presented with a combination of increased rent and reduced trading areas by our landlord at the most challenging time our pub sector has ever faced.

“While most landlords have taken a pragmatic approach to the coronavirus crisis and have partnered with their tenants to secure long-term relationships, a small minority have sadly taken an opportunistic approach which flies in the face of business reality.

“We sincerely hope that a new operator can re-open Brigantes for the local community of customers who have been tremendously loyal and supportive. This is a great pub which, given a fair chance, could have survived.”

Greedy landlords

Inside the Brigantes on Micklegate. Photograph: Market Town Taverns

In response, the Brigantes’ regulars didn’t hold back. “Another York sad story about greedy landlords. The council are just as bad. Sad seeing businesses have to close up because of this,” said one.

Another said: “We are totally gutted to hear this sad news and so sorry that you’ve been forced into this heartbreaking decision.

“We will really miss you all… such lovely staff, great beer and the best Sunday roast.”

And a third said: “If only the landlord was able to see what a good, reliable and profitable tenant was worth!”

YorkMix did talk to Market Town Taverns and were promised a response about the fate of the Brigantes today, but we have yet to receive anything.