‘It is time to grasp the nettle’ - Historic city pub to reopen on August bank holiday weekend

Philip Cutter the landlord at The Murdrers & Gardeners Arms in Norwich pictured in 2019. Picture: Ne

Philip Cutter the landlord at The Murdrers & Gardeners Arms in Norwich pictured in 2019. Picture: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

A landlord is urging people to support independent pubs and businesses after warning there will be some casualties after lockdown.

Philip Cutter, landlord of The Murderers on Timber Hill, Norwich, is reopening his business of 33 years on Thursday, August 27.

Mr Cutter said fellow publicans in the city were confident that customer numbers were gradually increasing after the government gave the green light for pubs to reopen on July 4.

He said: “The confidence seems to be growing slowly. People seem to be venturing to the pubs a bit more. We don’t know how busy we are going to be but we know we have done enough to make people feel confident.

“It is time to grasp the nettle and give something back to the customers who have supported us.”

He added he and his staff were excited about reopening but it remained a difficult time for the pub industry which he described as a “moveable feast” in terms of how they operate.

Mr Cutter felt Norwich pubs were more protected than other areas of the country.

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“With events like the City of Ale Festival, great independent pubs and world-renowned breweries, Norwich is going to be shielded to some degree but there are going to be some casualties.

“It is up to the public to use the pubs, especially independent ones, as well as other independent businesses,” he added.

MORE: Use them or lose them: It’s never been more important to Love LocalThe landlord, who has lost out on £25,000-£35,000 worth of trade due to lockdown, has not paid himself or his business partner during the lockdown while paying bills for the historic building.

But he has given the inside of the 17th century pub a freshen up.

“Although the pub is lovely it needed some redecoration.”

Mr Cutter, whose pub could attract 300 people on busy nights pre-lockdown, will be able to serve 130 people at a time to maintain social distancing and the numbers of tables outdoors will be reduced.

MORE: Why a pub poured 60 gallons of beer down the drainHe will allow people in on a first come, first served basis, separate doors will be used for people entering and leaving, its five returning staff will carry out table service and extra cleaning, and all payments will be done through contactless technology.

Mr Cutter said the safety of his staff, who would wear masks and gloves, and customers was key and he was relying on people’s common sense.