Newport pubs braced for tough winter with rising fuel costs

PUBS across Newport could struggle this winter unless there is help to ease the cost of energy prices.

The hospitality industry is already struggling with three restaurants in Newport closing this week due to financial strain.

Monusk Tapas bar and Rag Tag Pizza are the second and third restaurants to close their doors, after Villa Dino announced it was selling its restaurant in July.

Now it is only a matter of time before pubs in Newport are effected, The Windsor Castle on Upper Dock Street is already feeling the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis and fear they may not survive.

A spokesman for the Windsor Castle said: “There is no cap for us, we are literally getting hung out to dry and if something is not done, we won’t be here much longer after Christmas.

“I haven’t got a clue how we are going to survive winter with the energy bills increasing/ I can see its not going to drop and there’s not much we can do about it unless there is help.

“The government should step in, they got us through covid and then dropped us, it’s a huge worry for the industry.

“There are two restaurants closed already because of the financial pressure, when everyone comes out of their energy tariffs in October. Mine went from £700 a month to £3,000 a month.

“There is no restriction for the hospitality industry, it gone from 14 pence a unit to 60 pence a unit which is a big jump and its due to go up in March again.

“If something is not done, I can’t pass all the costs on to the customers as I would be charging £10 a pint.”

The Dragonfly in Duffryn near Tredegar House, a Vintage Inn pub, is prepared for the tough winter ahead by energy saving.

“We are managed by Mitchell’s and Butlers and they conduct energy audits, which is one of the ways we will deal with it.

“We have a poster of all the running costs of the equipment and the time it takes for it to warm up, especially the kitchen equipment so we are not overspending by putting it on too early.

“Any unused lights will be switched off, when it gets colder, we will be shutting the windows, so we are not wasting any heat.

 “It’s nice in the winter as we have fireplaces so hopefully, we won’t have to put heating on as much.

“Its not much of a worry for us as we are a managed house, but if we were independent, it would be different.

“We are starting to take action now with the audits. I think privately owned pubs do need help as they would be massively appreciative of that. If it got worse, they should get priority if needed.”

Tammy McDonald, a Newport resident, is concerned for the older generation who live alone and use pubs for socialisation.

She said: “My local pub is amazing; we have several older customers who all look out for each other and if any of them aren’t seen or heard of they will check to make sure they are okay.

“Older people who live alone may not be able to afford to heat their homes now, never mind the increase on electric and gas.

“They come to my local pub to get warm and find company with or without drinking alcohol.”

South Wales Argus | Business