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Last orders at The Highland pub as cost of living crisis bites

By Connor Briggs

A West Leeds pub with decades of history is closing due to rising prices. 

The Highland Pub will be closing for good after over four decades of business on Sunday, 30 April 2023. 

Owned by EMER Ltd, the pub is off Cavendish Street, near Burley Road, and will be closing due to rising prices and not enough business. 

The Highland pub is sandwiched between Burley Road and Kirkstall Road. Photo: Connor Briggs

Simon Pierce, pub manager, said: “We’ve had five beer price increases in the past six months, coupled with utility and gas prices increases, it’s unsustainable. It’s been losing money for the last five months. 

“[Hospitality] is struggling badly, all the overheads have shot through the roof and with the cost of living, a pint is a luxury now.”

Mr Pierce doesn’t think The Highland Pub will ever operate as a bar again: “People get their drinks cheaper at the supermarkets. How can a pub compete with supermarket prices? It’s ripped the heart out of hospitality.” 

Reflecting on his tenure as the manager, Mr Pierce said: “It’s been a blast working here, I’ve got good regular customers and some good memories. I’d like to thank all the customers who have been coming in, and good luck in the future guys.” 

The Highland and its regulars this lunchtime. Photo: Connor Briggs

Local customer, Joanne Sellars is a regular at the pub: “I’ve been drinking in here since 2004. We came every day in summer, and it’s always been the local pub to come to. 

“We’re a minute from this pub, the prices are better here, we have lovely staff. It’s just sad, to think yet another pub is gone because of the prices breweries are pushing onto them, it’s just sad.”

Last orders for these loyal punters? Photo: Connor Briggs

Luke Threadgould, another customer, said: “The smaller independent pubs with character end up gone. You get a lot more individual drinks in independents rather than the standard Carling and Carlsberg in the big-name pubs.” 

The Highland Pub will be hosting a closing party on Saturday, 29 April with food and drinks, a sign advertises to customers to go to the pub to “help us finish off whatever booze is left” on Sunday, 30 April.

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