Popular Norwich pub whose previous landlords claimed squatters’ rights and refused to leave reopens after �10,000 makeover

A popular Norwich pub has reopened after a �10,000 makeover.

The Maid Marian in Ipswich Road was closed for about three months, but it has been taken over by Jon McAlavey and wife Donnamarie.

The Tuckswood pub shut at the start of January when previous tenants, Andrew and Lynne Southworth, locked the doors and declared squatters' rights during a rent row with the owners.

The couple, living above the pub with their two children, placed notices on the doors and windows downloaded from the Advisory Service for Squatters website.

Mr Southworth also appeared in court for offences relating to food hygiene committed during his time as landlord, and was handed a conditional discharge for two years. But the couple were finally moved into a new home and pub owner Enterprise Inns brought in Mr and Mrs McAlavey.

Unsurprisingly, the new landlord is keen to move forward and said: 'We have made a lot of changes and would like to let people know about the change of ownership.

'The pub has had a �10,000 clean-up and makeover with extensive work done to the back of the building, and we have moved the bar and restaurant to how they used to be. We will be focusing on the food aspects of the pub trade, with Sunday carveries and three-course meals at night.'

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He said he had always been in the pub trade in one form or another, and was catering manager at the Rising Sun in Coltishall for five years. He added: 'The Maid Marian is also my family's local pub, which they have been going to for about 30 years, so we knew that for about three or four years the pub was being run into the ground. We want to encourage local trade to come back as it is a community pub, but we also want to bring in new trade.'

The pub's former darts and pool teams are also now back up and running.

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

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

Do you know of a pub opening or closing in Norwich? Call David Bale on 01603 772427, or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk