Why have queues at UK pubs suddenly started happening across the country?

Why have queues at UK pubs suddenly started happening across the country?

The UK never feels far away from its latest crisis but the latest big issue sweeping the nation doesn't come from Westminster, the BBC or the public sector. It's in your local pub.

If you are still a Twitter user in the UK (or should we say 'X'?), over the past week you might have stumbled across an account called pub_queues. The name of the account should be pretty explanatory but to put it simply it documents the strange phenomenon of people queuing for drinks at pubs and bars.

The caption for the account reads: "A campaign to end the recent phenomenon of queuing single file in pubs. We queue for the bus, or for the checkout not at bars."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

It appears that throughout the UK, people have ditched the old rugby scrum formation at the bar for a slightly more organised and civil but dare we say more drawn out attempt to order a pint or your preferred beverage.

Photos on the account document this seemingly random sensation happening across the land from Newcastle to Cornwall, Scotland and London, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and just about everywhere else in between.

The man behind the account is Rod Truan, a secondary school teacher from Cornwall who told the column headline king Adrian Chiles in the Guardian that he feels the whole thing started after Covid restrictions were lifted.

Truan adds: "It’s like a hundred years of tradition have been swept away overnight. It’s unique to British pub culture, that when you go to the bar, you meet new people, you have conversations, you have banter, it’s about public spirit, and that makes it worthwhile.”

Chiles, who does start his column on the issue favouring the single file method instead concludes that the humble tradition and sense of solidarity, when one customer tells the bartender that the person next to them is actually ahead of them in the pecking order, should be preserved.

However, it might take more than one column to eradicate this issue. What then of the actual bar staff? What do they make of queues? One person replying to the queue account recounted a particularly stressful occasion when manning the bar at a birthday party when a queue was formed.

However, not everyone is in favour of clambering for a barkeep's attention with dozens of other people.

If the British pub itself can't fix this issue then astonishingly we might have to look to Australia. A pinned tweet on Truan's account features a sign from the Marrickville Bowling Club in New South Wales.

It reads: "Please do not queue in a single file at the bar. Spread out. We're good for it."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)