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‘It’s been a while’ - City centre pub to finally reopen after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 08:35 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 21 July 2020

General manager Jonathan Barnes, known as Billy, of Lollards Pit pub. Picture: Denise Bradley

General manager Jonathan Barnes, known as Billy, of Lollards Pit pub. Picture: Denise Bradley

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A city centre pub will open its doors to customers for the first time in months.

Lollards Pit pub on Riverside Road in Norwich. Picture: Denise BradleyLollards Pit pub on Riverside Road in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Lollards Pit, on Riverside Road, which has remained shut due to coronavirus, will reopen today (July 21).

Jonathan Barnes, known as Billy, general manager, said they delayed opening after lockdown was eased to “see how other venues were getting on.”

The 37-year-old added: “We decided it would be best to see how other venues were getting on with their opening and also to give us more time to sort out the paperwork to make sure we’re as compliant as possible with the government guidelines.”

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Over the past few months, which Mr Barnes said had been a “tough time” for the hospitality industry, the pub has offered a takeaway and delivery service “to support the local area.”

The team at the pub, which is opposite the River Wensum, has also kept a sense of community among customers by hosting a weekly online quiz and posting regular social media updates.

But Mr Barnes said staff were looking forward to returning to work to “see customers and pull pints again.”

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He said: “It has been a while. But I’m optimistic that our loyal customers will return and our events can restart once restrictions ease.”

Measure to keep customers and staff safe include a new app, which can be downloaded for free, to place orders.

Mr Barnes said: “We’ve also put in lots of social distancing posters, stickers, risk assessments and track and trace systems. And we’ve had a staff Covid-19 briefing on new methods of working.”

Lollards Pit, which is one of a number of pubs deemed a ‘community asset’ in the city, has a rich history.

The pub gets its name from the Lollards, an anti-clerical group that believed the church was corrupt, who used the site to execute heretics and other offenders during the Middle Ages.

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Later, during the mid-17th century, it also became the venue for witch burnings.

The site was also where chalk was drawn to provide the foundations for Norwich Cathedral and was once owned by the Bishop of Norwich.

According to Norfolk Pubs, the pub was called The Bridge House until 2012, and before that, was named The King’s Arms from 1975.


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