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Murderers’ landlord warns pub may not open until Christmas

PUBLISHED: 15:54 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 08 June 2020

The Murderers, or Gardeners Arms, Norwich may not reopen until Christmas.

The Murderers, or Gardeners Arms, Norwich may not reopen until Christmas.

Archant

A famous Norwich pub which has been open for centuries may have to wait until Christmas to reopen.

Philip Cutter at the Murderers, Timber Hill. Pic: ArchantPhilip Cutter at the Murderers, Timber Hill. Pic: Archant

The landlord at the Murderers, Phil Cutter, has said that because his pub lacks outdoor space and the layout inside it may not be financially viable to reopen under current social distancing guidelines.

Mr Cutter was speaking after it was revealed this weekend that pubs may be able to open earlier than billed – on June 22 instead of July 4.

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He said: “I would love to open on July 4, of course, but for myself and many other pubs it’s not commercially viable to reopen at half capacity. The type of pub we are relies on pints selling for four of five pounds, people nipping in for a quick one, and match days. We rely on that to keep the business going, and a lot of our customers won’t want to queue for 20 minutes and not know if they can get a table.”

Mr Cutter has previously been granted planning permission to put out tables on the square at the bottom of Timberhill near where the pub is located.

“Even then I think we could only get about six tables out,” he said. “And with two members of staff needed to serve it I just don’t think it’s viable. We’re not like Wetherspoons where we can sell cheaper pints and have a bigger building.

“And of course then you’re betting on the British weather which isn’t playing the same game as us. If it’s sunny then people will want to eat and drink outside, if not you’ve bought staff back and opened up when there’s no one there.”

He went on that by putting up screens inside the pub it may permanently damage the building, which has operated as a pub since 1841.

However the origins of the building has been traced all the way back to 1696.

“It would just ruin the ambiance in here,” he said. “We don’t want to put something up – like perspex behind the bar and shields around the tables – that could damage the place forever.”


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