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Historic Buck Inn at Thorpe St Andrew to reopen a month after closing

PUBLISHED: 08:50 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 20 November 2017

The Buck Inn, Thorpe St Andrew. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The Buck Inn, Thorpe St Andrew. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

An historic riverside pub which closed suddenly is reopening in time for Christmas.

Victoria MacDonald, pictured in the Cellar House pub in Eaton, Norwich, which runs a Post Office service. She is new business owner, along with her husband Grahame MacDonald, of the Buck Inn at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: BILL SMITHVictoria MacDonald, pictured in the Cellar House pub in Eaton, Norwich, which runs a Post Office service. She is new business owner, along with her husband Grahame MacDonald, of the Buck Inn at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: BILL SMITH

The Buck Inn which looks onto the River Yare in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, was shut at short notice by its owners - the Ei Group, formerly Enterprise Inns - a month ago.

But it will back in business this Friday after the Ei Group found new business owners - experienced publicans Victoria and Grahame MacDonald.

The Eaton couple already own the Cellar House in Eaton, the White Lodge in Attleborough and the Old Ram Coaching Inn at Tivetshall St Mary.

Mrs MacDonald, who has been in the hospitality industry for 30 years, said: “It is incredibly exciting. I love the pub. I have been a publican for 10 years. I love everything about it - I love the beer and I love the buildings that go with it.”

She described the Buck Inn as a “beautiful building” and praised the local community.

Some parts of the small Grade II-listed pub, on Yarmouth Road, date back to the 12th century and it is understood to have gained its first drinking licence in the 18th century.

“There is very little we need to change. The essence of the building will remain,” Mrs MacDonald.

“I can assure the community that the pub is in safe hands. We like to have good pubs that do good beer and good food. We need to get in and get the beer flowing. Everyone in the community is welcome.”

The Buck Inn is expected to employ up to 10 staff - and customers will be welcomed by manager Emma Bullock.

A full menu will be on offer in the new year and the new business owners hope to revamp the pub garden and some of the toilets.

As well as new staff, Mr and Mrs MacDonald hope to take on apprentices at the Buck Inn.

These new recruits will learn about hospitality management, food preparation and leadership, among other skills.

Mrs MacDonald said: “We have done a lot to support the local community. We think that is what pubs should be about.”

The first community involvement of the Buck Inn, under its new ownership, will be supporting the Thorpe St Andrew Christmas lights switch-on on December 3 by putting on a barbecue.

To contact the pub call 01603 434682.

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