‘A double standard’ - Pub landlord’s anger at new rules ahead of closure

Dawn Hopkins, owner and landlady of The Rose in Norwich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dawn Hopkins, owner and landlady of The Rose in Norwich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A Norwich pub landlord has hit out at what she says are “double standards” for pubs as she gears up to survive the November shutdown.

Dawn Hopkins. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Dawn Hopkins. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Dawn Hopkins, who runs the Rose Inn on Queens Road, is preparing to guide her business through the second coronavirus lockdown of the year.

In the first, pubs and bars were allowed to sell alcohol for takeaway, however, in new guidance published on Saturday this is no longer the case.

The landlord believes that pubs are being treated unfairly.

“It just seems to be a double standard for us, like there is something to say that people and alcohol is the problem,” she said.

“But you can still go to the supermarket, which have little regulation on how much alcohol you can buy and what time you buy it.”

She said news of the second lockdown left her “devastated”.

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“We worked so hard since the last lockdown and adapted to the rules as they have changed and our customers have done the same,” she said.

“We have been working in a safe environment, and no spikes have been attributed to pubs in the city so it does feel a bit deflating and very frustrating.”

The announcement of the lockdown sparked a “crazy 24 hours”, she said, as the team planned their trade for the final days of lockdown and beyond.

The pub has remained closed on Mondays and Tuesday since reopening but will open this week in an attempt to clear stock.

“I’ll have to see if I can do takeaway food, and if that works for us,” she said.

“I’ll have to tighten my belt and hope the government supports us. I really hope so because if not, then the alternative is not worth thinking about.

“If we stick to the one-month lockdown then the stock in the cellar should be fine. If it lasts longer there might be a problem.”

Ms Hopkins, who has been in the industry for 20 years, is vice-chairman for The Campaign for Pubs.

Back in June, she said the group needed to give pubs a clear voice to help shape future decisions.

She believes that decisions are being made by people not involved with the industry.

“It just feels that we are not being listened to and people are making decisions about our business they know nothing about.”