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Norwich pub landlords make quick exit - but pub set to reopen tomorrow

Debbie Pearce, who left the Champion pub in a hurry with husband Don

Debbie Pearce, who left the Champion pub in a hurry with husband Don

Archant é 2011; 01603 772434

The landlords at a popular city centre pub left without warning a few days ago and closed up - but the owners said it would reopen tomorrow.

The Champion pub in Chapel Field Road was daubed with graffiti a few months ago and the landlords, Don and Debs Pearce said at the time that they were on the verge of quitting.

Neither was available for comment today and Dale Huntington, from Bateman’s Brewery, the pub’s owner, would not discuss why they had left.

He said: “Our previous tenants have left but we will be opening as normal on Wednesday .”

However, he said that another Bateman’s tenant, Sarah Ladi, who runs the Leopard in Bull Close, Norwich, was taking over on a temporary basis before new tenants could be found.

Miss Ladi said she would do her best to shuttle between the two pubs to keep both running.

As reported, the pub, which was nominated for the Evening News Pub of the Year award, was daubed with graffiti in June and was burgled three months before that, when Mrs Pearce woke to find that the upstairs window had been smashed.

She said at the time that the graffiti attack had left her on the verge of quitting, and added: “We’ve been burgled, we had someone threatening us a fortnight ago and now we’ve got this.

“It seems as if someone’s got something against the Champion or us, but I don’t know which one it is.

“I really just feel like saying that’s it and quitting, but I will carry on because I’m that sort of person. It’s just frustrating that these people get away with it like they do.”

Meanwhile, in 2009, the then landlords Jason Barker and his wife Nicola were subject to a vicious attack by unruly customers who assaulted them when they were asked to leave.

The Evening News has been trying to help pubs in the area in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

What’s happening at your local? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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