We have all seen the signs, for sale, to let, hanging around Bangor as of late, the surprise for most is where they are hanging from. The many bars of Bangor seem to have been hit quite hard as of late, but, the main question is why. Bangor is a flourishing town and with the large student body on top of that, it is hard to see why it might be that they would want to sell up or close down.
Upon talking to the owners of bars across Bangor, the general feeling to come from them is that the ‘students are taking more care of their loans’, or, in some cases hadn’t received loans yet, causing a drop in custom for some of the bars. However, as said, it’s only some bars that have been affected by this, so, another question is raised, is location a factor, is being in upper Bangor a hindrance as the nightclubs are in lower Bangor. Based purely on where bars are closing down, that wouldn’t seem the case as we see bars on the high street and around lower Bangor being put up for sale alongside the likes of Patricks and the Greek in upper Bangor. Reasons behind the Greek being put up for sale are due to current owners wanting the retire, which, leads to another issue, as many of the local stand-alone bars have been owned by a single person, such as the Greek being owned for 35 years by current owners, they want to keep the bars in local hands, as they know the demographic of Bangor.
However, during talks with one source, he commended his work on building up the team for the bar, and this enabled him to turn his ‘failing bar into a thriving one over the last nine months’. The teamwork instigated and the work ethic delivered by the manager to his staff is the driving force behind sales, with their store making considerable profit. But, again, if this is the case, the question raises, why are we seeing many bars wanting to sell? We also see the moving in of larger companies, such as the Wetherspoons and Varsity, however, again whilst talking to the source, he said he ‘still believed the bar would succeed without the company backing’ purely based on the amount of business it receives, not because of its name, but because of service provided.
So, overall, I believe we can’t pin down the closing or selling of pubs to one reason, instead, it is seemingly a mixture, with many businesses proving there are profits to be had. The gulf between upper Bangor and lower Bangor plays out very little, with students sticking to their favourites, and normally following similar routes on a night out.