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‘We don’t want to upset anybody’ - New landlords close pub’s takeaway service after ‘negative’ comments

PUBLISHED: 16:48 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:40 26 June 2020

Gary and Sarah Hamer, new landlords of the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hamer.

Gary and Sarah Hamer, new landlords of the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hamer.

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A couple running a pub in Great Yarmouth have closed their takeaway service after pictures of people drinking outside the venue sparked a negative reaction online.

People outside the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth on June 24. Picture: Lorne Stonebridge.People outside the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth on June 24. Picture: Lorne Stonebridge.

Sarah and Gary Hamer, who took over the Theatre Tavern on Theatre Plain the day before lockdown was imposed, opened the bar for takeaway drinks on Monday (June 22).

But a post on the pub’s Facebook page on Thursday (June 25) stated: “We have now decided not to open for takeaways as we’ve found this has been virtually impossible to control distances and we don’t wish to offend anyone.”

Mrs Hamer, 51, said: “We’ve only just taken over the pub and we were trying to make some money.”

She said they were told by borough council officials that “as long as people were being moved on, and keeping their social distance, it was fine”.

Sarah Hamer, 51, new landlord at the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hamer.Sarah Hamer, 51, new landlord at the Theatre Tavern in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Courtesy of Sarah Hamer.

The council has been contacted for comment.

The landlords put six notices on the windows and red crosses on the path outside the pub reminding people to keep two metres distance.

However, pictures emerged on social media on Wednesday (June 24) of customers outside the pub, drinking on the path.

Mrs Hamer said: “We got all this negativity from people, nasty comments, saying they’re all standing outside, saying we were being selfish.

“I said to my husband, ‘We don’t want to upset anybody,’ so we closed the takeaway service.

“It’s been a bit of a blow for us,” she added.

Mr Hamer, 59, said: “All the locals that did come down, they were happy. A lot of our customers are of the older generation, they’ve been sat indoors doing nothing.”

The couple took over the venue a day before lockdown in late March.

Although not the most auspicious start they have been using the forced closure to spruce up the pub.

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“It was a bit of a bummer, but that’s just one of those things,” Mrs Hamer said, adding: “We’ve done a lot inside the pub, trying to make it look nice. We’ve cleaned the place and painted it.”

More changes include live music, when that is allowed again, and food including bacon rolls.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Mrs Hamer said.

The pub will reopen on July 4.


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