Saver menus and pizzas - how pubs are opening under 'substantial meal' rule

The Sir Garnet, Norwich Market place. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Sir Garnet, Norwich Market place. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Pubs which don't traditionally rely on food for their trade are having to adapt to stay open as Norfolk enters the government's Tier Two.

Under the restrictions, which Norfolk fell under from Wednesday, pubs can only serve alcohol with a substantial meal and diners can only sit indoors with their household bubbles.

Debate has continued over what constitutes a substantial meal, with the government initially saying a scotch egg, for example, wouldn't - and then later backtracking.

It has forced many drink-led pubs, who often rely on locals coming in regularly for a pint, to close down until the tier system is reviewed. Others, though, are altering what they do until a sense of normality returns.

Brick Pizza Credit: Joshua Cooper

One of Brick's pizzas. - Credit: Archant

Lauren Gregory, at the Sir Garnet, just off Norwich market, is working with nearby Brick Pizza in order to serve food.

Brick had posted on its social media pages to say it could provide restaurants with frozen pizzas, or portable ovens to lease out.


"We had to parachute in a solution really quickly," Ms Gregory said, "because we didn't want to be shut and I didn't want to start a food offering hastily."

She said Brick's proximity - the pub is at 39 Market Place while Brick is number 36 - gave them confidence they could run it efficiently, but said she hoped down the line to work with other traders on the market.

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Bedfords Bar, in the city centre, is also working with Brick.

Even those who do usually serve food are thinking outside the box to combat a potential loss in trade.

At The Shoulder of Mutton, in Strumpshaw, landlords Bob and Dani Cameron have introduced a Super Saver Substantial Meal Deal alongside their regular menu.

(L-R) Craig McLaren, David Holliday and Bob Cameron who worked together to create the Hare Today exc

Bob Cameron, right, is the landlord at the Shoulder of Mutton in Strumpshaw. He is pictured in summer with Craig McLaren, left, from the Wig and Pen pub in Norwich, and David Holliday, from brewery Moon Gazer, as they launched their exclusive Hare Today beer. Photo: Moon Gazer - Credit: Moon Gazer

Mr Cameron said the goal was to make sure the pub was as accessible as possible to everyone.

"People can come in every day but they can't afford to come in and eat a £10 or £15 meal every day," he said. "We introduced it so people can have a drink if they want and something to eat. We want it to be accessible to those who just want to pop in."

The deal includes a pint of beer, medium glass of wine and substantial meal - including sausage roll with chips and beans and chilli and chips, among others, for £5.95.

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