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Hop & Horn close it's doors for the last time in Formby

It is with regret and sadness that we have to report on The Hop & Horn closing its doors for the last time on Sunday 2nd October.

The owners have given it their all and done everything that they can for our community, however it is very difficult for small independents to survive when they are having to compete against large corporate companies and have to pay out hefty rent and rates.

The idea for the restaurant came from three friends, Sean, Tony and Martin, over a pint and they thought they could create somewhere that encompassed everything they wanted from a bar and restaurant. As well as beer and burgers, the restaurant offered a brunch menu, hosted live entertainment upstairs and offered an extensive cocktail menu.

At the time of opening Sean Gallagher, Co-Founder of the Hop & Horn , said: “Our aim is to provide a new entertainment hub in the Village for the local community following the closures of the Haro Lounge and The Gallery.

In October 2015 they even created a special burger in honour of Jurgen Klopp when he became the new coach at Anfield. The new burger, coloured in a similar fashion to the German flag, was called “The Klopper”. The Hop & Horn has been such a special place in the heart of our village for the last fifteen months and hundreds of peopke are devastated by the news of the closure.

On Sunday evening, the Hop & Horn made a public statement on their Facebook page about the closure which received 91 shares and over 170 comments. The statement read:

"We'd like to say a massive thank you to our regular customers and those who have supported us over the last 15 months, but regrettably, the crippling rent & rates and the downturn in trade over the last 5 months means that we simply can't continue to open.

The car park charges took away what little daytime trade there was too.

As owners, we put our hands in our own pockets and took a risk to open what we thought was a great bar and restaurant, serving quality food and drinks.

We haven't taken a penny out of the business while it's been open and we have each lost a good deal of money.

We stayed open until today because we had a party booking which we wanted to honour and we wanted to make sure that staff were all paid up to date.

Please support the local, independent shops, restaurants and bars in the village. Use them or lose them as they say.

Thanks everybody".

The Hop & Horn want to reassure everyone that has a party booked that they will receive their deposits back and have apologised for the situation:

"We only knew ourselves on Thursday and we didn't want to effect parties that we had this weekend which is why we stayed open till Sunday. All deposits have been set aside and will be refunded. We are gutted that we can't host the parties we had booked. All deposits are safe and will be returned."

One facebook user wrote:

“Independent traders simply cannot survive in Formby unless they are very lucky due to the ridiculous rates. You just have greedy landlords squeezing every penny they can get out of people thats why only big chains, bookies and charity shops can really survive here. It should be illegal now to buy commercial property to lease it out. If people had the chance to buy the property outright and run their business through it maybe they would stand more of a chance. Or if the council just said OK we will take these properties and lease them out at an affordable rate if the type of business matches what the locals want. The greedy businessmen have ruined the village”.

If you want to see the Hop & Horn Facebook post and read all the comments, please CLICK HERE

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