Is there a questioning monosyllable more pleasing to the ears than "Pub?" Solidifier of friendships, precursor to any night out worth suffering for the next day, and signal that it is finally, finally time to stop looking at your computer screen, ingest some sort of cooling alcoholic beverage, and offload about what a ball breaker Marie from accounts was being this week.
But it seems many British drinkers may no longer view their local with such reverence. According to a new study commissioned by Ritz (the cracker brand, somewhat disappointingly, not the 100-year-old hotel), just 23 percent of people still go to the pub on a frequent basis, with five percent saying they only visit once a year. Furthermore, out of the 2000 British people surveyed, 52 percent said that they'd rather host or attend a gathering of friends at a house than pub or bar.
While it may sound as if the study is made up exclusively of responses from your parents or creepy teetotal neighbour, the stats show that it may actually be younger people choosing board games and sherry over the outside world. According to the study, 18 to 34-year-olds are three times more likely to see friends at home than at a bar, pub, or restaurant.
For most of these stay-at-homes, cost was the main obstacle between them and the pub, a factor that has curbed our dining out habits since the start of the recession. After expense, the majority of people said that entertaining at home was preferable to the pub due to it being a "more comfortable" experience. What, so sticky floors and wonky bar stools aren't comfortable?
Sadly, the study's results will come as no surprise to Britain's already ailing pubs. Thanks to changing drinking tastes and rising costs foisted on independent landlords, one pub on average is forced to close in the UK every week.
But not every boozer is falling foul of its cash and, apparently, comfort-strapped clientele. Victorian pub The Marksmen in east London won plaudits when it reopened earlier this year—not as an incongruous Italian wine bar or "gastropub"—but simply a pub, complete with jukebox and cheap plywood bar. In Glasgow, The Laurieston is still pulling pints after being managed by the same family for three decades.
That all sounds a lot better than drinking tinnies next to your roommate's weird house plants.