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Popular Norwich pub set to reopen

PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 01 July 2010

The Gibraltar Gardens

The Gibraltar Gardens

A popular 18th century city pub that has been closed since the start of the year is recruiting for new staff and is due to get a makeover before it reopens.

A popular 18th century city pub that has been closed since the start of the year is recruiting for new staff and is due to get a makeover before it reopens.

The Gibraltar Gardens in Heigham Street closed in January and neighbours said the landlords were believed to have left the country.

The pub is owned by pub group Enterprise Inns whose spokeswoman said: “Enterprise Inns plc is pleased to announce that it has just agreed lease terms to reopen this prestigious site in the centre of Norwich.

“We are working in partnership with two experienced former Enterprise retailers to implement a refurbishment programme at the Gibraltar Gardens and to reopen this historic pub as soon as possible.”

The news was welcomed today by Norwich pub historian Derek McDonald, who said: “I'm pleased because I had my doubts it would reopen so that's good news.”

Before its closure the pub was run by Irvin and Jo Verret who returned from retirement in July 2008 to rescue the pub which they had previously run.

Their return was prompted by the bankruptcy of the previous tenants, Richard Jacques and Deborah Williams, who is the Verrets' daughter.

Neighbours said at the time that the Verrets had returned to the US, and Enterprise Inns said the retailers had unexpectedly decided to cease trading despite having asked for and received substantial financial assistance from the pub company.

The Gibraltar Gardens has been a pub since at least the 18th century and parts of the building date back another 300 years.

Its name could come from the capture in 1704 of Gibraltar by Sir Cloudesley Shovell, who was from Norfolk.

The Evening News' Love Your Local Campaign aims to get people back into pubs which are struggling to beat the effects of government tax hikes, the smoking ban, competition from supermarkets selling cheaper alcohol and the rents and beer prices charged by the major pub companies.

For more stories on the Evening News' Love Your Local campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Have you got a pubs story? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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