A publicans’ body claims bars have been “hit hard” by changes to drink-driving laws and the smoking ban.
Paul Waterson, spokesman for the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said studies show an average of two pubs close a week.
He said tough legislation brought in over the past decade has hit the industry.
New figures released from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of bars and pubs in the UK increased by 315 – 0.8% – last year.
However, Mr Waterson said the figures include restaurants with bars inside. Establishments serving alcohol on their premises operate under the same licence.
He said: “It’s hard to differentiate between what is a pub and what is a restaurant when they are on the one licence. Places like Frankie & Benny’s and Wagamamas are classed as the same as a pub and that’s why you see more, because these chains are opening all the time.
“All these restaurants that serve alcohol on their premises distort the actual figures for pubs, but there are some agencies that categorise traditional pubs against restaurants and you will find the figures are going down.
“All our figures show we’re still losing two pubs a week.”
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Mr Waterson said the smoking ban and changes to drink-drive legislation had hit trade over the years.
He said fewer people were now choosing to unwind with a pint at the pub at the end of the working day, and only 25% of the total market for alcohol sales is now sold through pubs and hotels. He said: “The smoking ban in March 2006 was a big change at the time and a lot of pubs which didn’t have big facilities or food services were hit hard.”
Andrew Wilson, caretaker of the former White Horse Inn building in Balmedie, which closed last year, said fewer people go out to bars now.
He said: “Local pubs are dying – I think the trade is done, if you ask me.
“It’s a lot easier to stay in the house and drink indoors, in the comfort of your own home.”
Colin Cameron, owner of three city bars, the Kirkgate Bar, Masada and the Bridge Bar, said: “The reduction in drink-drive limits has particularly had an effect.
“People are scared about how much to drink because they are driving the next day.
“There’s also pressure on people to look after their weight. There are many reasons why pubs have struggled to make ends meet.”
A city centre pub general manager, who did not want to be named, said: “We are seeing a change in drinking with young people and the drinking culture.
“They’re drinking less and less often.
“I think because millennials are more health conscious we are seeing an increase in demand in vegan foods and in low and non-alcoholic option drinks.”