The brothers behind Altrincham bar Lounge Ceol say they are “sadder than anyone” after deciding to close down.
Matt and James Hackland closed the Irish bar on Stamford New Road at the weekend, almost a year to the day since opening it in November 2013 on the site once occupied by the Faulkners Arms.
And despite building up a loyal following for its regular traditional Irish music nights, they said that rising costs and dwindling weekday trade had combined to ensure the venture was no longer “financially viable”.
Matt told Altrincham Today: “We’re sadder than anyone. We pushed it for a year and cleaned it up, but there are so many pubs around the area and not many people going out anymore.
“We’ve been trying to keep it going for as long as we could. We were waiting for the hospital to open but you can’t just keep waiting and waiting.”
James claimed they would not have done anything differently, and added: “We gave it a good bash and had a great time, but it’s just not financially viable.
“It’s emotional for everyone but you’ve just got to make a clear business decision.”
Below: Lounge Ceol on Stamford New Road
The brothers said they took the decision to close last week, with even the promise of a boost over Christmas not enough to persuade them to stay open.
Matt added: “There’s pushing it and pushing it but then you’ve got January and February which are quiet. so you could push it again for six weeks and then be in the same boat again after Christmas.
“A lot of people are gutted, but we couldn’t have done anymore, we tried our hardest.”
“The trade’s different from 10 years ago – people don’t go out as much as they used to, they just haven’t got the money.”
The brothers, who have lived in Sale all their lives after being born in Chorlton, admitted they were now looking for work elsewhere within the industry.
They vowed however to try again at some stage in the future. James said: “As a destination it worked, and in different circumstances as a destination it could have survived.
“But we‘ll be back somewhere at some stage. It might not be next year, it might be in 10 years, but we’ll be back.”