Excitement as city pub reopens after 18-month closure
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Pints are being pulled again in a pub after an 18-month closure because of the coronavirus lockdown.
The Woodman, on North Walsham Road, Norwich, opened its doors on June 14, after a major revamp inside.
Experienced publicans and married couple Debs and Donald Pearce, 55 and 64, who have managed the pub since November 2018, said: "People think it is great. It is nice to see them coming back in.
"Reopening the pub is great for our own business security and better for the community because I wouldn't like to see another pub close down."
Mrs Pearce said people were messaging her on social media asking when the pub would reopen after closing for the March 2020 lockdown.
It briefly reopened for two-and-a-half months in the autumn and for the past three weeks the managers have been redecorating the inside of the pub.
They have used their savings to keep the business going and although it cannot fully reopen on June 21, Mrs Pearce said she was confident about its future.
Mrs Pearce added: "I agree with Boris. I think the lockdown should go on a bit longer. The table service is not good on my legs but if it gets us out of lockdown quicker, that is the only way to do it.
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"People are being good with social distancing, using hand sanitiser and wearing masks.
"If people do what they are supposed to do we should come out of this quite easily. We need to get out of this happy for the economy."
Under social distancing rules the pub can sit 48 people inside and 60 outside and the managers will put in more benches in the beer garden to accommodate extra customers safely.
Mr and and Mrs Pearce, who were helped by their daughter Natalie Pearce, 34, during the redecoration, are upgrading the kitchen and restaurant area and hope to serve traditional pub food over the next few weeks.
Mrs Pearce said: "I'm a people person. It is nice to see a smile on their faces."
Before going into the pub trade, Mr and Mrs Pearce, who have three grandchildren, worked at a casino in London.
After that they ran the Farmhouse on Colman Road, the Dog Inn at Horsford, the Champion on Chapelfield Road in Norwich, the Nelson on Nelson Street, and the Crown in Costessey.
The Woodman is leased by LEC Pubs off Stonegate Pub Company.