Photo gallery: Norwich pub's £52,000 beer garden makeover
PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:00 09 August 2013
Many traditional pubs across the city are struggling to survive but one popular business has spent more than £50,000 just on revamping its beer garden.
The garden at the Duke of Wellington in Waterloo Road started off as just a car park and was still in a dilapidated state before the owners decided to give it a makeover.
But thanks to a £52,000 revamp the garden is now as pretty as a picture with some customers likening the atmosphere at night to the Mediterranean.
The pub is managed by Dougie Clarke and Bernie Devine, and is owned by Kay Edwards and her husband John.
Mrs Edwards said: “I have wanted to do up my garden for a long time. We took everything out of it except the grapevine. We wanted a cart shed, where our beer festivals will be held. We got in builder, Jez Wilby to put a brick wall round the garden, and put in nine tables and natural sandstone tiling, which was the more expensive option. Altogether, it has cost about £52,000.”
Mr Clarke said feedback from customers was amazing, and they were expecting a bumper beer festival with 70 real ales available from August 23-31. The pub also has a barbecue on Friday and Saturday nights. He said: “People come into the garden and it’s just ‘Wow’. We’re already getting more people in because of it. The flowers were done by customers Wendy and Ray Parker, and we will be entering it into next year’s Norwich In Bloom competition.”
Mr Wilby added that customers said the garden had a Mediterranean atmosphere at night, when the lights were on. Customers like it too. Tony Kemp said: “This has been a brilliant change.” Another local, Henry Winter said: “Smokers are generally discriminated against, but they have made an attempt here to make us feel welcome. We can come in here and not feel victimised.” And Amanda Dale, who also lives in the area, added she would visit more. The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love Your Local campaign, www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal