Well-known bar is latest pub to close

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One of Preston's best-known bars has been forced to close after a drop in trade.

Wall Street, one of the city centre's biggest bars, has called final orders after its parent company ran into financial difficulties.

Owner Goodtimes Pub Company Ltd, based in Kent, confirmed it closed the Fishergate pub because it could "no longer keep it going" in the current market.

The news comes just two months after the Lancashire Evening Post revealed pubs in Preston were closing at a rate of one a month.

Licensees in the city claimed Preston's "bad reputation" for violence and night crime may be putting revellers off going out in the city.

Ted Breakell, 58, licensee of Hartley's Wine Bar in Mount Street, said: "It is a package of factors.

"The smoking ban will undoubtedly be a big factor – January and February is always a bad time as people won't come out and stand in a beer garden.

"And the bad reputation that Preston is getting is having an effect and putting people off coming into the city.

"Then there is the cost of the new licensing act, providing door supervisors and all the requirements. I do not think there are many landlords making money at the moment."

Ronnie Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Preston Licensed Victuallers Association and landlord of the Dog and Partridge in Friargate, said: "It has dipped slightly but I would not have thought a place like that on the main strip would go."

Mr Fitzpatrick added that increasing reports of violence could be putting people off.

He said: "People do not want to worry they are going to get clobbered – you cannot enjoy yourself if you are constantly looking to see if you are going to get hit."

A source at Goodtimes said: "The company ran out of money – times are hard."

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