City landlord says outdoor dining area is ‘ready to go’ when pub reopens after coronavirus

Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers at Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers at Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A Norwich landlord whose plans to open a new outdoor dining area have been halted by coronavirus has said the area is ready to go as soon pubs can reopen.

Last June, Phil Cutter, the landlord of The Murderers, on Timberhill, was granted permission by Norwich City Council to create an al fresco dining area consisting of 10 tables and 30 chairs off Orford Hill.

At the time, Mr Cutter said he hoped to have the dining area open by this Spring.

However, on March 20, days before Mr Cutter had planned to open the new dining area, the government ordered all pubs to close, scuppering Mr Cutter’s plans.

One month on from the order to close, Mr Cutter has said he is ready to open the new outdoor area once his pub can re-open.

He said: “The beer garden is all ready to go as soon as we start operating again.

“We were waiting for the weather to turn [before we opened]...the plan was the Saturday we were asked to lockdown, the weather was quite good, but we never had the chance to do that.”

Mr Cutter said he was excited to see the area, which has never been used as an outdoor dining, in use: “It’s a lovely vantage point for the city and it’s such an under utilised area and always has been, so to have the opportunity to see if something like, an outdoor dining area will work is great for the city,” he said.

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Mr Cutter, said he didn’t know when he would be able to reopen his pub, but said he wanted to know it was safe to do so when the time does come, he said: “I’m happy for the business to be closed for as long as it takes for people to be safe but how long that will be remains to be seen.

“The licence only allows us to open until the end of October, but if it doesn’t happen this year it doesn’t happen, and there are much more important things happening, people’s health is much more important than a few beers,” he said.