A family Christmas at The Hand and Shears in happier times

The Hand and Shears in Church Hanborough has been a roaring success since opening its doors back in 2020, with customers and locals flocking for some of chef patron Patrick Moore’s wonderful food, and his partner Sally Moore’s famous hospitality. READ OUR REVIEW HERE, so news that it is closing its doors for the final time on Sunday has come as a devastating blow.

“We are devastated to lose our bubbly, busy, pub”

“We’ve had grown men weeping at the bar this week after we announced that we were closing,” Patrick says sadly.

Patrick and Sally with some of their team

Because despite The Hand and Shears becoming an instant hit, the rising overheads, bills and costs mean Patrick and Sally are having to shut up shop, the latest victim of the ongoing energy crisis.

“Our electricity bill this quarter was nearly £14,000”

“Our electricity bill this quarter was nearly £14,000, five times more than when we opened, and that’s during the summer, ” Sally explains. “So we have chosen to close now before we get into debt and can’t pay our staff and suppliers. But we are so sad to lose our bubbly, busy, little pub.”

Patrick’s food at The Hand and Shears

“We have worked so incredibly hard and sacrificed so much to make it work and now we have nothing to show for it. It’s so sad, but we are proud of what we have achieved.

“We have worked so incredibly hard and sacrificed so much to make it work”

“We took The Hand and Shears to a level which we had aspired to – the pub was really busy and we had achieved what we set out to. So the business is not the problem, it’s the utility prices that make it impossible to make a living,” Patrick adds.

The roasts were a big draw at The Hand and Shears

“It makes this decision even harder – to leave a business when it is working , but because of the economics we can’t make it work. The bills and utilities have just gone up too much.”

“Because however well the pub is working, and however loyal our customers are, the numbers just don’t add up.”

“we are proud of what we have achieved”

The couple are absolutely devastated as a result, having put their heart and souls into making The Hand and Shears such a focal community point, and having to let their staff go.

The Hand and Shears tasting menu nights

“After building up the business up and making it a success, it seems crazy that we have to close and for 13 employees to lose their jobs,” Patrick says. “In fact it’s heart-breaking.

“we didn’t want to compromise on what a pub should be”

“But we didn’t want to compromise on what a pub should be – welcome to everyone and good value for money.”

The couple took on 18th century pub in August 2020 right in the middle of the pandemic after looking for the right premises for years: “It was love at first sight,” Sally remembers. Read about it here

The Hand and Shears had a big community following

So do they feel let down by the government? “This is when they should be stepping in because once the pub closes who knows when it will re-open?” Patrick asks. “The hospitality sector seems to have fallen by the wayside. It’s so short-sighted.”

“The question is why are we paying so much in bills, and how can companies be allowed to lock people into contracts for prolonged periods when things are so unpredictable at the moment. It’s extortion.

Fish and chip at The Hand and Shears

“I think it’s important that people understand that large companies profiteering off small businesses has such a big an impact on small communities like Church Hanborough. 

“But we have loved our time there and wouldn’t have done things any differently because the community has been so good to us and welcomed us with open arms, supporting us from the word go. It’s absolutely heart-breaking.”