Pub giant JD Wetherspoon are considering moving into Knaresborough High Street, The Knaresborough Post can reveal.
It is believed the company is looking at the site of The Crown on Knaresborough High Street.
Although a spokesperson would not confirm any specific location, they said they would like to open up in the town.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We would be keen to open a pub in Knaresborough. However, we will not comment on individual sites.”
Nikki Hanson, assistant bar manager at So! Bar and Eats on Silver Street said: “It is going to ruin local business.”
So!’s bar manager Beccy Williams agrees. “Wetherspoons isn’t as cheap as it used to be but it is still ususally the first place people go for drinks. We used to be the first place people went to because we are next to the bus station.”
Miss Williams thinks a Wetherspoon pub will prove popular in Knaresborough.
“Especially when it has just opened, it will affect everyone at first. When something new comes along there is always a novelty factor.”
Tom Coote, bar manager of Hart Sports Bar over the road from So! is also anxious about the pub giant’s plans.
“Give it a few years and there will be no business but that place because of prices.
“I think it will hurt smaller businesses the most.”
Hart’s bar staff Kayleigh Thompson was more optimistic. “What businesses need to work out is what they can offer that Wetherspoons can’t, like with us we are a sports bar.
“Then they need to fill that gap in the market.”
Mark Lee the owner of The Old Royal Oak pub in the Market Place agrees.
He said: “If it is competition is should be a positive thing, it should compel people to find their niche.
“It’s a positive for Knaresborough, it shows the town is worth investing in.
“There are people that like Wetherspoons but there are also a lot of people that don’t.”
Sue Bryanlandlady of the Market Tavern said: “I don’t think it will affect me much, my regulars have been regulars for 10 years, it’s for the younger generation anyway.”
The Groves Hotel regular, Brian Adair said: “I didn’t go there before and I won’t go when it’s a Wetherspoons.”
Martin Brown from Browns furniture store denied rumours that Wetherspoons hope to extend The Crown into Browns furniture store.
He said: “We have no plans to sell our shop or to move.”
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The Groves Hotel regular, Brian Adair said: “I didn’t go there when it was open before and Iw on’t when it’s a Wetherspoons.”