November 3, 2005
Burnham-On-Sea pub to start serving up alcohol from 9am each day

A Burnham-On-Sea pub is to serve alcohol from 9am when new drinking legislation comes into force later this month.

JD Wetherspoon announced this week that virtually all its 650 pubs across the country, including The Reed’s Arms on Burnham seafront, will allow alcohol to be sold from 9am seven days a week once new drinking laws come into force on November 24th.

The Reed’s Arms currently opens at 10am and closes at 11pm, but will be extending its opening hours until 1am.

JD Wetherspoon has soothed fears that the new opening times will encourage heavier drinking by stating that the majority of early morning sales are expected to be breakfasts, coffees and non-alcoholic drinks.

A spokesman said: “We believe that we are the only large pub company to open this early.”

“There has been concern expressed about binge-drinking, but Wetherspoon has a good record of responsible behaviour in this area,” he added.

The Reeds Arms barThe comments came as the firm revealed trading remained poor in recent months, with like-for-like sales down 0.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to October 23.

The chain also said business had remained slow at those pubs where it had banned smoking.

A smoking ban is expected to come into force at The Reed’s Arms in Burnham-On-Sea during 2006 when it will be the town’s first no-smoking pub.

Finance director Jim Clarke explain that the introduction of the later hours is aimed at attracting people who want to stay out for a drink after 11pm, but do not necessarily want to go to a nightclub.