I'll admit it here - I'm 38 and single. While this gives me certain advantages as far as freedom goes, I do the vast majority of my drinking alone.
This does restrict me a bit. Either I go to a crowded pub and look like a lemon, or go to a deserted pub and be served and ignored. Thankfully, I have the regular haunt where the other regulars know me by sight (and, by god, what a sight) if not by name. But it can make other pubs a somewhat alienating experience.
On the way home on a Sunday night, I tend to call into the last pub on the way home. This is a multi-room Mitchell & Butler job. Averagely priced drinks for average people. Occasionally there's something good on, but not often. Mostly, it's frequented by groups of of people having their last drink before the week calls them away from sociability. I go in on my own, and feel slightly uncomfortable, especially if my personal hidey corner is taken.
As the housing statistics will say, there's been an enormous growth in single people over the last 20 years - what with ever increasing divorce rates and lack of pressure to cohabit. So, could the solution to the declining pub trade be making the places more comfortable for the lone drinker?
Imagine - a pub made of single-table hidey-holes, with free Wi-Fi and soundproof isolation from the rest of the world. Where the single man or woman could drink in peace without the hassle of other fucking people.
Some people would say the pub should be social. But why not try the Misanthropic Approach? It could work, and has as good a chance as any in 2014's climate.
Who needs people to drink with anyway?