Britain's Oldest Pub Has Been Forced To Close After 1,229 Years
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A pub that is believed to be the oldest in Britain has been forced into administration after first opening its doors in 793AD.
Like many other businesses, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks suffered over the Covid-19 pandemic and has been unable to survive despite trying 'everything to stay open'.
Making the tragic announcement, landlord of the St Albans pub, Christo Tofalli, explained how he has been left 'heartbroken' but took the opportunity to express his gratitude for playing a 'small part in its history'.
In the statement which was issued on 4 February Christo wrote: "It is with great sadness that I have to announce that today, after a sustained period of extremely challenging trading conditions, YOFC Ltd has gone into administration.
"Along with my team, I have tried everything to keep the pub going. However, the past two years have been unprecedented for the hospitality industry, and have defeated all of us who have been trying our hardest to ensure this multi-award-winning pub could continue trading into the future."
Christo went on to explain: "Before the pandemic hit, the escalating business rates and taxations we were managing meant trading conditions were extremely tough, but we were able to survive and were following an exciting five-year plan and were hopeful for the future.
"However the Covid-19 pandemic was devastating and our already tight profit margins gave us no safety net. This resulted in us being unable to meet our financial obligations as they were due, creating periods of great uncertainty and stress for all who worked for, and with, the pub."
Speaking of his sadness, he went on: "It goes without saying I am heartbroken: this pub has been so much more than just a business to me, and I feel honoured to have played even a small part in its history.
"I am even more heartbroken for my incredible team and the wider Fighting Cocks family."
Commenting on the post, one person wrote: "So sorry to hear this. You and the team breathed life back into YOFC. You gave us and many more a welcome and warmth that no other place could ever match. On the night of our engagement you insisted on a special table even though you were fully booked and shared our special day with us."
Another added: "Thank you for some of the best years of my life! Working with you and the team was the greatest pleasure. I made lifelong friends, precious memories and those walls were my home."
Others have started to brainstorm ideas in a bid to keep the pub open, with one asking: "Is a crowdfunder an option at all? We would all be behind you."
In response, someone commented: "As a community we cannot let this happen. Of all the pubs, all the history, we must pull together to save this from happening!"