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Watton pub reopens after a five-year £300,000 renovation project

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 07 March 2017

Watton residents John and Judy Kerr have the first drinks in the newly-opened Kings Arms in Watton. Picture: CLIVE TULLY

Watton residents John and Judy Kerr have the first drinks in the newly-opened Kings Arms in Watton. Picture: CLIVE TULLY

Archant

A popular town pub which called last orders nearly six years ago has reopened, thanks to a £300,000 investment from a businessman.

The Kings Arms in Watton has reopened its doors nearly six years after it closed. Picture: CLIVE TULLY The Kings Arms in Watton has reopened its doors nearly six years after it closed. Picture: CLIVE TULLY

Residents are now being called upon to support The Kings Arms in Watton, which its owners say they are “opening for the good of the community”.

The pub in Middle Street was bought in 2011 by Graham Woodyatt, who is from the town.

Once the previous tenants at the pub had left, Mr Woodyatt began a five-year £300,000 refurbishment project. A new roof was constructed, the electric and heating were changed and a new function room on the back of the building with a private bar and under floor heating was added.

Mr Woodyatt’s son Harvey explained: “Doing it up was very much a labour of love, with hours spent on the finer details - such as the reclaimed parquet flooring and the original beams, which provide a traditional feel with lots of character.

Harvey Woodyatt outside the Kings Arms in Watton. Picture: CLIVE TULLY Harvey Woodyatt outside the Kings Arms in Watton. Picture: CLIVE TULLY

“The pub was brought by my father Graham as a property project at a time when he was meant to be retiring, though he still wanted to keep his hand-in.

“When it was nearing completion, I took over the baton as I wanted to get it operational as soon as possible.”

The pub held its opening on Saturday, March 3, with punters popping along to celebrate.

Its new team includes nine members of staff, with bar manager Caitlyn Cooke - previously general manager of the Red Lion in Kenninghall - at the helm.

Chef Tammy Fish, from Watton, has joined the team and a full food menu will be on offer in the next few weeks.

“We will be offering food and have added large tables and booths for groups of friends. I’m sure the function room at the back will be popular for private events,” said Mr Woodyatt Jnr.

“We have a fantastic team in place with years of experience and I’m delighted it’s finally opened.

“I’ve had a few comments that we are mad to open a pub, though these have far been outweighed by the positive feedback from locals and we feel there is scope for another pub in Watton and wish to buck the trend.

“We are opening for the good of the community and hope you will support us.”

Have you got a story from your community? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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