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Would a Wetherspoons pub be popular in Shetland?


I would welcome the opening of a Wetherspoons pub in Lerwick.  

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  1. 1. I would welcome the opening of a Wetherspoons pub in Lerwick.

    • Yes
    • No
    • Yes but not in Lerwick town centre

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I am a big fan of Wetherspoons pubs when travelling sooth as you get great value pints and decent quality meals at excellent prices.


My wife and I happened to be in Paisley on thursday evening and went to the Wetherpoons curry night. We had 2 really good curries (with poppadums, chutney, naan bread etc), a pint of Strongbow, a pint of Guinness, and 2 tasty desserts (sticky toffee pudding + custard and a fruit crumble + custard). The total cost was £14-96.


The state of the pubs in toon is quite tatty these days and the introduction of a Wetherspoons would, I feel, be good for Lerwick. Undoubtedly, it wouldn't be popular with the current pub and bar owners, though.


What think you?

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A nice idea but the Weatherspoons business model relies on the availability of end of life real ales, close to the sell by date. That's how they sell real ale so cheaply. I doubt that they could get the same returns with the addition of a 14 hour ferry journey - kind of cuts into the 48 - 72 hour lifespan of their beers. It might be workable if they get the beer a day or so earlier but that might put the price up and so cut margins. Also, will the population of Shetland abandon Tennants in a tin and provide the turnover required to make a Weatherspoons work? Otherwise it will be just another electric lager pub charging £3 a pint like the others.


On the food front, all of the food is shipped in pre-processed and 'assembled' on the plate. Would it be cost effective to send a number of meals via refrigerated truck? Okay so the supermarkets do, but their storage is quite extensive and expensive, would a pub be able to do that? Shetland doesn't exactly embrace restaurants, but I suppose that might be down to lack of choice and avalability. Food might make the pub work.


As to location, is it sensible to locate a pub who's main business focus is cheap beer where folk need to drive? I'm not a townie myself, but I doubt the place could make enough in trade to be profitable if it wasn't in Lerwick.


Some challenges for sure, but Weatherspoons are the experts at turning round failing pubs and making them profitable so maybe they could make a go of a pub up here.

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The one thing I miss here in Shetland is the pub atmosphere that we have in Ireland, when you walk in to a family pub with a big fire roaring or a huge stove lit and can buy decently priced 'homecooked' not prepackaged meals at a reasonable and affordable price for families.

On a Saturday afternoon have a bit of live music playing and an atmosphere that is about relaxing and spending time having a few drinks together rather than just getting blinding drunk.

There seems to be more a culture of going in and being able to sit and read the paper or a book by the fire and have a coffee in a warm comfortable atmosphere, more like a sitting room atmospehre, and obviously not all pubs in Ireland have this atmosphere but the choice is there for people who want to be social and relax & converse or when you want to go out and get langered.

When I'm asked here if I miss Ireland I always answer with 'I miss the pubs'. I do think there is oppurtunity for this type of pubs throughout Shetland, but not corporate chain pubs just a bit of re-designing and planning with well established pubs.

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I can well imagine a Wetherspoons in the Bank of Scotland building once the TSB group decides to close it. And since the Wetherspoon expansion plan seems a bit like Tesco's with a branch or more in every town it is not impossible.


As for the food I think they offer a decent enough budget eating option and I an certain that many pubs also serve ready made meals that are bought in chilled or frozen

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The logistics would be difficult I think. These chains of prefab pubs rely on national purchace power and low delivery costs.

And a pub is only as good as the landlord, regulars, quality, location and brilliant bar staff.

There may be an argument that there may be enough pubs in town. You will get seriously strong protests from the other pub owners about prices.

These pubs also open at 9am, and the one in Preston sells booze so cheaply, there is always a few rolling around in their own bodily fluids and ejections. The police curtailed the opening times, and families all leave by 4 pm due to the other type of pub users.

Why not just petition for the existing pubs/bars to improve, you could do this with your feet.


Or, there has been a few co-operative pubs opening here, owned and run by a few.





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