'Welcome back!' - Glasses raised as popular pub reopens
- Credit: Mick Howes
There were queues outside of the main garden gates as a popular pub opened to outdoor customers.
A warm welcome awaited visitors to The Norman Warrior been garden in Lowestoft as restrictions were relaxed with lockdown easing on Monday, April 12.
As pubs and restaurants in England returned to serving punters who are seated outside, there was a special "Welcome back we have missed you all" message reserved for those returning to the popular pub on Fir Lane, Lowestoft.
Renowned for serving "good food and great real ale," the pub garden was bustling with customers seated at new and refurbished tables, and under marquees.
With bar specials and food specials in operation, the pub has introduced The Outside Inn service area, which has been purposely built on the approach to the beer garden.
After opening at noon, within the first hour and 45 minutes of welcoming people once more, around 40 beer battered cod and chips meals had been served at the Norman Warrior.
Landlord Shaun Waters said he was "very pleased" to be able to reopen the doors once more and get back to serving punters.
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Mr Waters, who has been landlord for the past 15 years, said: "We had a queue waiting for us outside the gates, and people had been queuing well before noon.
"This feels almost like the beginning of the end, in a good way.
"It is brilliant to see everyone.
"We have built The Outside Inn as a service point where people can scan in on the NHS App, supply contact details or order another beer - with alcohol and food delivered to the table.
"The staff have not stopped and everyone is abiding by the regulations.
"We have served about 40 fish and chips meals within the first hour and 45 minutes, and it has exceeded expectations."
Over recent weeks the pub had been offering a takeaway service to "tick things over."
Mr Waters added: "All the staff have been really positive about coming back, and last night after completing the Sunday roasts, I wandered out to the beer garden and felt a bit emotional just knowing it would not be long until we could fully open the garden gates again."