‘End of an era’: Rugby pub landlord leaving after nearly 25 years

Avon Mill Inn landlord Mac Mckenzie is leaving after 24 years behind the bar NNL-170328-100407001
Avon Mill Inn landlord Mac Mckenzie is leaving after 24 years behind the bar NNL-170328-100407001

A pub landlord in Rugby is leaving after nearly a quarter of a century behind the bar – with locals calling it the ‘end of an era’.

Mac McKenzie says he can no longer afford to keep The Avon Mill Inn going, blaming a lack of custom and ‘unfair’ rates from breweries.

The Avon Mill Inn, Newbold Road, Rugby NNL-170328-100349001

The Avon Mill Inn, Newbold Road, Rugby NNL-170328-100349001

The publican dismissed rumours the pub on Newbold Road was closing or being demolished but is concerned for its future with two years of roadworks looming.

“It’s quite sad really as we’ve been here 25 years in November, so 25 years would have been nice, but it’s costing us a grand a month so I can’t keep on,” he said.

“Everyone was saying the pub is getting knocked down but it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Mac has seen three generations of families coming in the Mill over the years and says he has lots of great memories. But the 63-year-old landlord has also seen its decline as many other pubs have witnessed, and is moving on to pastures new on May 31.

Everyone was saying the pub is getting knocked down but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Avon Mill Inn landlord Mac McKenzie

A regular at the pub and Mac’s friend, John Coles, said it is a shame to see him leave but recognises the struggles publicans face.

“At one time we used to have a group of oldies come in here on a Friday night, there would be 20-24 of them, all drove up and came in here and there’s only one or two left now, they’ve all come and gone or died, and Mac’s seen the whole lot. It’s the end of an era,” he said.

Owners New River Retail thanked Mac for all his hard work but admitted it was ‘considering all options’ for the site.

“Since Mr McKenzie told us he wished to leave The Avon Mill, after a remarkable 24 years behind the bar, we’ve liaised with him closely, and have reached an agreement that will see him continue to run the pub until the end of May,” a spokesman said.

“We’re currently considering all options for the site, which include a pub remaining on it.

“In the meantime, we’d like to thank Mr McKenzie for his hard work at The Avon Mill.”