Tesco to open Soho wine bar as pubs close at record rates

Tesco is set to open a pop-up wine bar in the heart of Soho, while countless pubs face closure.

The supermarket giant will be offering free tastings of 50 wines from its Tesco Finest range during August, on Wardour Street.

Visitors will also be offered ‘wine flights’, a set of three glasses “of different wine styles for consumers to compare and contrast – the perfect opportunity to experiment.”

Times are tough for bars and pubs

The move comes at a challenging time for the bar and pub sector. While the so-called ‘night time economy’ is worth some £66 billion to the UK economy, pubs are closing at a record rate, and licensing conditions are reportedly becoming tighter.

A recent report from the Night Time Industries Association suggests that night time businesses employ 1.3 million people, and account for six per cent of UK GDP.

According to the report, around 10 per cent of UK employees now regularly work a night shift.

But industry pressure groups are concerned about rising alcohol duties, as well as stricter regulation meaning that fewer licenses are granted, especially in England and Wales.

The report calls for “fair regulation across licensing, planning, entry procedures, and crime,” suggesting that the “police and local authorities need to realise the value the [night time economy] has to local communities.”

Would you rather visit Tesco’s pop-up wine bar or a local boozer? Let us know below.

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