'It feels like a new beginning' - Norwich pub opening deli to stay afloat
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown (main image)/GettyImages/iStockphoto
The landlady of a Norwich pub is launching a deli to ensure its future as it is unable to reopen in April due to its small garden.
Dawn Hopkins, 51, will open a deli counter at The Rose Inn in Queens Road to coincide with the reopening of pubs and restaurants for outdoor dining under the government's roadmap, which is currently earmarked for April 12.
Ms Hopkins will have to wait until May 17 at the earliest to let customers sit in, when indoor hospitality is set to return, as only four people can sit socially distanced in the garden.
In the meantime, she will keep the pub trading with takeaway coffees and food from the deli, with locally-sourced produce including cured meats, cheese, sausage rolls and condiments. Vegan products will also be available.
Ms Hopkins said: "It was born from frustration with another lockdown at the end of December and not knowing how long it would go on for.
"A deli is something people in the area asked for and it has given me something to concentrate on.
"The reaction to the idea has been really positive and it feels like a new beginning."
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When the pub reopens fully, customers will able to have food from the counter at their table and stone-baked pizzas will also be on offer, which were introduced last year to keep the pub financially viable with restrictions in place.
Ms Hopkins is the vice-chairman of the Campaign for Pubs and has been vocal over the last year about the need for more government support.
She thinks that wet-led pubs have been unfairly penalised and as a smaller premises she will receive a lower amount of the Restart Grant available to hospitality businesses in April, which is based on rateable value.
Ms Hopkins added: "Wet-led pubs didn't get the help from Eat Out to Help Out, the VAT cut to 5pc was only on food and they don't have big gardens.
"It feels like pubs like mine are the bottom rung on the ladder in terms of concern and help."