YET another pub in the York area has closed its doors.

The picturesque Agar Arms, situated in front of the village pond in Warthill, east of York, served its last pint at the weekend - at least for the time being.

It is at least the fifth pub owned by Tadcaster brewery Samuel Smith’s in the York area to have shut in recent months.

Warthill residents spoke yesterday of their sadness at the loss of one of the village’s few social and community facilities.

“It’s a sad day for the village,” said one villager, Mike Free.

“In Warthill, there’s the school, the church and the pub and that’s it. I hope it re-opens as soon as possible.”

An elderly villager, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s a shame. The young ones liked to go there and sit out at the front.”

A woman posted on the pub’s Facebook page: “So sorry to see you are leaving. Samuel Smith’s are losing another great team.”

Another posted: “That’s so sad! Another country pub gone!” and a third said: “So sad, they made the pub a cosy, friendly place to go.”

A further post read: "Is the Agar Arms closing? I worked behind the bar for nearly 3 years back in the early 2000s ! Great little pub."

Parish council chairman Paul Spetch told The Press that the pub's imminent closure had been raised at the last meeting.

“We were very saddened to hear it was closing,” he said. “It’s an important little hub of a place and we hope it will re-open.”

He said he believed changes introduced by the brewery, such as a ban on the use of mobile phones and tablets, had had an impact on lunchtime trade, for example with businesspeople who wanted to work from the pub while having lunch.

He said another problem had been the introduction of a rule saying customers should pay for things with cash and not credit cards, which could prove difficult, for example, with a party of diners having to pay perhaps £100 for a meal.

Other Samuel Smith’s Brewery pubs to have shut their doors in recent months include the Brown Cow in Hope Street, off Walmgate, York, which has lain boarded up since it closed in August.

The York Arms in High Petergate, York, closed in July, while the Blacksmiths Arms in Skelton shut in the spring, and The Press reported last week that the New Inn at Stamford Bridge had also closed suddenly.

The brewery has consistently declined to explain to The Press why such pubs have shut or reveal whether or not they were likely to re-open, and a spokesman was unavailable for comment yesterday about the closure of the Agar Arms.

The pub’s landlady was also unavailable for comment yesterday.