July 26 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
A historic Great Yarmouth pub has reopened to the delight of locals - and its new landlord already has plans to expand the business.
Andrew Hall has taken over the pumps at the Gallon Pot and was thrilled to welcome a steady stream of customers into the traditional bar during his first day of trading on Tuesday.
The Market Place pub has been closed since January with cheap supermarket alcohol deals cited as one of the reasons for calling last orders.
But its new landlord, who has worked in the pub trade since he was a teenager, is confident about the Gallon Pot’s future, and has plans to extend the beer garden and open up the basement room for functions and events.
Andrew and his partner Dane Rees, who moved to Yarmouth from Birmingham in August 2013, said they fell in love with the pub after popping in for a meal last summer.
“It was a nice traditional pub, and then we had family come down in February and it was shut,” Andrew said. “And then I saw the to let sign and got goosebumps and thought ‘that’s the pub’.
“We spoke about it and I applied the next day.”
The pair officially took on the pub on June 20 and spent the next two weeks - with help from friends and staff - stripping the kitchen, cleaning up the downstairs room and getting the pub ready for its grand re-opening.
Throughout all the work however, they were keen to maintain the traditional feel of the pub.
Andrew said: “There’s not many traditional pubs left now. I’m from Birmingham and all the traditional pubs have been turned into supermarkets, they’ve just disappeared.
“And this pub is too good to not have open and everybody’s so pleased to see it open.”
A new menu has been introduced, including a selection of classic Norfolk dishes, and the pub will also be serving afternoon teas and Sunday roasts.
Six new members of staff, including a full time chef, have been taken on and Andrew said he was enjoying being back behind the bar.
His priority now was opening up the downstairs room where he plans to host quiz nights, karaoke sessions, cocktail evenings and screen live sports.
He also hopes to install a commemorative plaque marking the site of the Second World War bomb which destroyed the pub - then the former Burroughs Wine Lodge - in 1943.
And the pub is set for a full refurbishment in the coming months, with the upholstery, carpets, toilets and signs getting a total make over.
The wine lodge was opened on the site in 1772 and taken over by Lacons in 1897. After the war it was rebuilt as the Gallon Pot, which opened in 1960.