Landlord uses lockdown to completely renovate his pub interior

Ian Warren, landlord of the Angel Gardens pub on Angel Road. Picture: David Hannant

Ian Warren, landlord of the Angel Gardens pub on Angel Road. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A Norwich landlord has used lockdown to renovate his pub from top to bottom for the first time in a decade.

Ian Warren, who owns Angel Gardens, in Angel Road, went to buy supplies as soon as the government announced all pubs were to close at the end of March and has redecorated both inside and out.

Mr Warren, who has run the business for 32 years, said: “The strangest thing about it is the social aspect, every day I have people in that I am talking to and serving. If I didn’t have so many jobs I would have gone round the bend. It has been a busy five or six weeks.

“The last time anything really got done was probably when the smoking ban came in. We’ve had projects such as refurbishing the main toilets and others and pieces but this is the first time I have been through the whole pub in one go and totally redecorated inside and out. It was the ideal opportunity to go and redecorate and making sure it is all in good conditions for when we do reopen.”

In addition, the head chef has kept busy by offering takeaway roast dinners and ales which customers can order and collect.

On an average Sunday, Mr Warren sells more than 40 roasts, which are sent out cold for diners to heat up at home.

Mr Warren said he felt support for businesses was handled fairly well.

Most Read

Though he hopes the business can reopen soon, he added he was unsure how social distancing could be managed, unless businesses had large amounts of space or an app to order food to their table.

He said: “I couldn’t go on for too much longer, things might take a bit of a hit. It would be nice to open up soon.

“I know there was a rumour we might not open until September and there is the possibility some [pubs] will fall victim and not reopen at all. If we do leave it to September there will be some that do not make it.

It wouldn’t surprise me if we were allowed to open after the bank holiday at the end of the month. I cannot see how we could open to the public and have social distancing though. I would only have a dozen to 15 people in. There is room in the smoking area or the garden but people would have to keeping walking past each other.

“I will look to see what he [Boris Johnson] says when we are allowed to come out of lockdown and take a look at what he suggests. I just cannot see how social distancing can work.”