People are 'sad to see' The Mons close its doors

The Mons Stonehouse in Bootle
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)


News that The Mons pub will likely be sold to McDonald's has been met with widespread dismay.

The pub, which sits at the junction of Breeze Hill and Southport Road in Bootle, closed its doors for good last month. It was part of Mitchells & Butlers' Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery chain, but its parent company decided to sell the site. It had been operating as pub since 1966.

A spokesperson for Mitchells & Butlers told the ECHO on July 3: "We continuously review our estate to ensure that we’re always obtaining the best returns from each of our assets, and driving innovation across our brands, to enable us to continue to deliver shareholder value. Following an approach, we have taken the decision to sell Mons Bootle."

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The ECHO understands that a deal to sell the site to McDonald's is nearing completion and the pub will be one of the chain's fast food restaurants. When approached for comment by the ECHO, a McDonald's spokesperson said: "We are always on the look out for suitable locations and are currently exploring a number of opportunities in the wider area."

ECHO readers were generally unimpressed by the announcement. Some had fond memories of the pub stretching back decades.

Writing on Facebook, Karen Beckett said: "I met my husband there in July 1974 , we've been married 50 years next year, so I'm sad to see it go."

Michael Keough added: "Used to frequent there when working at Skelly's Ford World Bootle [in] '76."

There was general disappointment at the prospect of another McDonald's restaurant opening up in the area.

Lisa Gallagher said: "There's about five Maccies in about a mile vicinity of each other in the area, we defo don't need another one! A nice restaurant would have been better."

Stacey Bridge-Tucker agreed. She said: "Hardly any decent places to eat this side of Walton/Bootle, so it's closed and becomes another Maccies when there are plenty of them round here."

Many readers expressed concerns about the potential impact a McDonald's might have on traffic in that part of Bootle.

Justine O said: "The traffic will be worse than ever, how ridiculous. There’s Rice Lane and Walton County Road and Queens Drive, drive thrus already."

Amanda Hoose said: "Dread to think how that will affect the junction there. Gets busy and chaotic."

On the ECHO website, Teri69 added: "We don’t need extra traffic on this nightmare of a junction! I have watched many a near accident as well at peak times. Has anyone not thought of this?"

However, there were a few readers who backed the idea, including Donna Lewis, who argued that a McDonald's on the site would be "better than empty buildings." She added: "They can only rent to people who want it, obviously no other businesses did sadly."

Writing on the ECHO website, another reader defended the fast food chain, arguing McDonald's does more than most companies to help young people. Birder2629 said: "Maccies get bad press BUT they are a fantastic company to get young people into the workplace. Without them many young people wouldn’t have a chance of work or training."

The future of the Mons was the subject of a number of rumours in its final days as a pub. The ECHO received a number of messages suggesting it would be sold to McDonald's, with posts in Bootle-based Facebook groups making the same suggestion.

The pub, which takes its name from Bootle's twin town in Belgium, Mons, first opened in 1966 as part of the Walker brewery chain. A flyer for its opening read: "Enjoy the continental atmosphere of the Belfry Bar and Lumecon Lounge. The Hainaut Banqueting Suite, with sprung dance floor and cocktail bar, is available for private functions."

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