The Great British Pub Has a Pandemic Hangover

LIVERPOOL, England—Conor Foley’s pub, Kelly’s Dispensary, offers a bar-stool view of forces roiling the global economy. Having finally reopened after pandemic shutdowns, Mr. Foley must now manage rising costs, staffing shortages, supply-chain snags and changing consumer behavior.

The great British pub has been hit hard by the spread of Covid-19 and its economic aftermath. The U.K. lost around 3,250 pubs and bars—about 6.8% of all such businesses—between March 2020 and September this year, according to consultants AlixPartners and CGA, as the pandemic added to the strain on these drinking establishments, considered classic cultural institutions.