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Freethorpe pub ‘will reopen’ promises owner

PUBLISHED: 15:45 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:46 19 February 2014

The Rampant Horse pub in Freethorpe.
February 2014.

Picture: James Bass

The Rampant Horse pub in Freethorpe. February 2014. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2014

The owner of an east Norfolk pub has assured villagers their local is not lost after it closed to customers for the second time in two years.

Ian Bromwich, who owns a portfolio of pubs and businesses in the Great Yarmouth area, is looking “high and low” for the right tenants to take over the Rampant Horse pub in Freethorpe after the doors closed to customers last month.

Mr Bromwich, who previously ran the pub with his son, Adam, believes the local which has been trading in the village since the 19th century will survive if the right people are behind the bar.

“These days a village pub needs to make money on wet sales and dry sales; there has to be good food at a reasonable price as well as good beer.

“It sounds like a simple formula, but of course it’s not easy.

“Being a publican is 24/7, it’s hard work.

“But this pub is in a really lovely village, half way between Norwich and Yarmouth. It’s in a great location.

“It’s the kind of pub that needs to be run by a couple of some description because customers want to see them behind the bar.”

Mr Bromwich speaks from experience. He and his wife Jill, along with son Adam, have been in the business for many years and are about to expand into Yarmouth, regenerating the former Mecca bingo hall on Regent Road into a show bar and nightclub called Stars.

He also owns the Lion in West Somerton and a beach cafe in Caister.

“The Rampart Horse will reopen again as a pub,” he said, adding that he had been inundated with calls from villagers wanting to know what would happen to Freethorpe’s only pub.

“We’re actively looking new tenants, and we’re looking for the right tenants.

“The pub game is hard - but I am still buying pubs.

“Adam has the Marina on Great Yarmouth seafront and that place is heaving in the summer so it does work and, as for Freethorpe, it’s a brilliant community. It’s a brilliant opportunity.”

Anyone interested in the Rampart Horse can call Ian on 01692 631052 or 077624 92230.

Villagers voice fears their local pub might not survive as the previous tenants had “tried everything”

In the meantime, the Shoulder of Mutton pub in Strumpshaw said pub teams who meet at the Rampant Horse can use their facilities until their local reopens.

Landlord Sheila Jameson-Jones said: “We would like to offer the use of our facilities for the pub’s teams to use until their local reopens. We have a pool table, dart board, crib boards and cards for them to use as long as they are needed.”

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