Today's Norwich Pub of the Week is the Ribs of Beef, one of the most popular pubs in the city centre
PUBLISHED: 12:25 08 December 2011
Roger Cawdron, who runs the Ribs of Beef with wife Anthea, has the experience to know what keeps the punters happy, and with the economy in the doldrums, he's sure that what they need now is cheering up.
The couple have been in charge at the pub since 1985 and with doom and gloom plastered across every TV in the country, the pub feels like an oasis of calm and festive cheer in the middle of an economic whirlwind.
Walking from Tombland towards Magdalen Street, you can see the bright Christmas decorations and lights at the Wensum Street pub before you enter, and inside is your ideal home from home full of seasonal good cheer.
Mr Cawdron said: “Christmas is a time for family and friends and also when a lot of people go to pubs to meet up with friends they have maybe not seen all year.
“I think the decorations make people cheerful. Its a cosy environment. People need to be cheered up. The media is full of doom and gloom and people just want to relax and have a laugh.”
Nearly three years ago the pub underwent a £180,000 refurbishment with decorators working round the clock to finish the complete refurbishment of the pub in just 25 days.
This makeover included putting in a traditional pewter bar, new toilets and a new jetty outside by the river, but the Cawdrons kept the feel and atmosphere of the traditional pub.
Feedback from the refurbishment has been good, Mr Cawdron said, and while retaining their old customers - some of whom have been drinking at the pub for more than a quarter of a century - they have also added a new crowd.
Mr Cawdron added: “Some of our customers were a bit surprised that we had gone a bit upmarket, but you have to keep up with the trends.”
He admitted that running a pub was hard work and tiring, but added: “Thankfully I’ve always been blessed with a fair bit of stamina and good health.”
Helping them run the pub is barmaid Emily Brown, who has been there about five and a half years.
She said: “It’s like a big family really, and it’s like being at home. The customers are funny, and I especially like the morning crew we get in here.”
The Evening News’ Love Your Local campaign encourages people in the city to support their local pubs.
To see previous stories from our campaign log on to www.eveningnews24.co.uk /loveyourlocal.