One of the first completely vegan pubs in Britain has closed down after the meat-free menu did not prove popular with locals.
The 19th-century Monument in Canterbury, Kent, has won acclaim over the past two and a half years for its 100% vegan offerings, which included vegan burgers and hotdogs, “battered tofish” and “delicious soyball marinara”.
The boozer was said to be “Canterbury’s only plant-based pub” and run by Tom Boughton and Jo Brookman, who hoped the growing appeal of veganism would entice more customers.
The couple said they had put “our love, energy and enthusiasm into our tiny pub to create a truly magical vegan enterprise” and that they “enjoyed every minute.”
But they handed in their notice to owner Shepherd Neame after what they described as “difficult deliberations”.
Shepherd Neame said the pub no longer fits in with its current business strategy, and the company plans to put it up for sale as a “going concern”.
Tom and Jo held a closing-down party on 16 November and the pub will hit the sales market in January.
In a September Facebook post, the couple said they had endured a “quiet summer” and appealed to the local vegan community for their support.
In a statement, they said: “Many small businesses in Canterbury don’t have the luxury of being on well-trodden tourist routes, and like them, we’ve had a quiet summer because of that.
"We do still actively need the support of our local and vegan community otherwise independent businesses like us simply disappear overnight.
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"With pubs going bust at a rate of 18 per week in the UK, if you want to see us stick around, much like other dietary-specific businesses, you need to come and make the most of us.”
The pub will reopen in December under a temporary agreement before going on sale in January as a “going concern”.
A Shepherd Neame spokesperson said: “We can confirm that The Monument in Canterbury is currently closed, and will reopen in December under a temporary agreement.
"After careful consideration, the brewery has decided that the pub will go on sale in January, and will be sold as a going concern.
"It was not a decision taken lightly, but the pub does not fit with our current business strategy.”