Pub insists name change due to wedding license bid not vegans

A pub in York has changed its long-standing name ‘The Shoulder of Mutton’ but insists the move was inspired by a desire to apply for a wedding license and not to attract more vegans, as has been widely reported.

The Heworth Inn, formerly The Shoulder of Mutton, has hit back at reports that it’s changing its name in order to attract more vegetarians and vegans.

The pub has been called The Shoulder of Mutton since the 1950s, however the proprietors insist that they are respecting the building’s history.

“We have taken into account the area’s and the building’s heritage and have consulted various conservation bodies in the area and received warm feedback and support for the new name,” landlady Leah Stannard told The York Press. 

Responding to headlines which suggest the name change was a bid to attract meat-free customers, the pub stated on Facebook: “We are actually changing the name to The Heworth Inn as we are applying for a wedding license for 2019 and we can’t imagine a bride wanting to get married at ‘The Shoulder Of Mutton!'”

However, landlady Leah Stannard also wrote on the social media site: “When trying to market a business to a tourist hotel market, it has been shown that the name the Shoulder of Mutton isn’t perceived particularly well.

“Also, as we are going to have a really keen focus on vegetarian and vegan cuisine, we think it is a tasteful, sympathetic and reasonable decision”.

Stannard told The York Press that a quarter of the menu was currently vegetarian or vegan-friendly but that she was hoping to increase this to between a third to a half.

John Soonaye of the Vegetarian Society, added: “Focusing on a stronger vegetarian and vegan menu is a brilliant idea for establishments like The Heworth Inn.

“There will be differing opinions on the name change of The Heworth Inn, but if the intention is to highlight a more forward-thinking approach to vegetarian and vegan food, that’s a great thing”.

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