Shock as Morecambe’s oldest pub shuts

The Smugglers Den in the Poulton area of Morecambe
The Smugglers Den in the Poulton area of Morecambe
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Morecambe’s oldest pub has been closed and is due to be put up for sale by its owners Punch Taverns.

Locals and staff at The Smugglers Den said they were left “shocked and gutted” when the pub closed last Monday night, July 27.

I’m gutted...and the regulars are really shocked

Hannah Gregson, Manager

But a spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said the company had not closed the pub.

She said: “We can confirm that there will be a change of operator at the Smugglers Den on Wednesday August 5 however the pub will remain open and trading to the community.”

The pub, in Poulton Road, which was built around 1640, has been managed by Hannah Gregson since last September.

Hannah, from North Wales, took over as a relief manager and decided to stay on as full time manager.

She said: “The brewery is putting it up for sale and it’s closed at the moment.

“I’m gutted to be honest, and a lot of the regulars are really shocked by it.

“But it’s a struggling pub and doesn’t really make enough to cover its overheads.

“I just hope it stays open for the community’s sake and of course for the regulars, some of whom have been coming here for 30 years.”

Punch Taverns is one of the UK’s largest leased pub companies, with more than 3,500 pubs nationwide. The Sunday Times reported this week that the company is set to sell 150 of its worst-performing “wet-led” pubs to NewRiver Retail Ltd, as part of a £50m deal which could see them become convenience stores.