A popular 400-year-old pub in Richmond has revealed some regulars can’t afford to visit anymore because of the spiralling cost of living crisis.

The Angel and Crown said most pubs are in the same boat as the costs of basic necessities rise dramatically.

Manager Hannah Lawson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she has massively noticed a difference in customer levels since the pandemic with numbers now “pretty much on a flatline”.

She said suppliers’ costs had risen drastically and the pub is set to raise the price of pints to cover rising costs.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Angel and Crown, Church Court, RichmondAngel and Crown, Church Court, Richmond (Image: LDR)

She said it is using candles in the day to save cash and holding more events like live music and quiz nights to bring in punters.

She said: “One of our suppliers just announced a three per cent increase and then meat did it a couple of months ago, veg as well.

"You have to sit and compare four different suppliers and whether you can pick and choose some of it out of everything because the only way you’re going to make profit is if you keep putting the prices up.

"But with the cost of living people can’t afford it.

“That’s another thing as well – pubs are seen as a luxury for some people, not necessarily everybody, and it will be the last thing  people want to do.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: LDRLDR (Image: LDR)

"The last thing people want to do is come out and spend money in a pub and it was very clear during the lockdown where Tesco’s and all that were still supplying alcohol, people realised it’s cheaper to sit at home and drink.

“But I don’t think that’s the reason why people come to pubs.

"I think it’s a more sociable setting.

"It might cost a little bit more but you don’t have to worry about anything at the end of the day except getting home safely.”

She added: “[It’s] very difficult… there’s a lot of people who I know who used to come in all the time who are just like: ‘I can’t afford it anymore.’ They’re like maybe once a week, maybe once a month if they’re lucky and have a bit of a night out.”

Ms Lawson called the pub’s recent energy bill a “massive shock” as it had jumped by around 25 to 30 per cent.

She said: “For a small independent business it was a massive strain on our cash flow and it’s quite upsetting because you want a pub to be inviting and everything like that but we also have to think about the costs of having a light on.”

She later said: “With the prices of electricity growing, gas, we’ve then got to put the beer prices up to counteract that and people aren’t happy with that either.”

Licensing restrictions are also a challenge as the pub must shut at 11pm every night and move everything inside by 8pm. 

Ms Lawson said: “Even allowing me until 10pm would bring in a lot more trade for me because… at the end of the day this is a winter pub, but we still need to survive during summer and it took its toll this year – very much.

"It was painful.”

She said the pub is lucky to have “loyal customers” who will keep it afloat but the challenges they’re facing are “very difficult”.