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‘It will be a real life-saver’ - First look at city’s new beer garden ahead of pub re-opening

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 22 August 2020

Phil Cutter in his new outside seating area as the Murderers re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Phil Cutter in his new outside seating area as the Murderers re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A much-debated and “unique” outdoor seating area will be part of the package when a city centre pub reopens next month.

The Murderers new outside seating area ready for when the pub re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Murderers new outside seating area ready for when the pub re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

When the government gave the green light for pubs to reopen on July 4, The Murderers on Timber Hill was absent from the city’s offering.

More than six weeks later, the popular watering hole is again preparing to welcome punters, after choosing to prioritise safety and hold off from opening its doors until it could be totally satisfied it was Covid-safe.

And owner Phil Cutter says a new seating area on Red Lion Street will prove “a life-saver” for the pub, with restrictions meaning he has had to cut capacity inside by two-thirds.

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He said: “The seating area will allow us to get an extra 30 bums on seats that will make a real difference to us given how much of our indoor capacity we are having to lose. We have worked hard with the council and police to make it a viable option.

“It was a fairly unique application to Norwich given the distance it is from the pub itself so we’re grateful that we’ve found a way of making it happen as it will be a real life-saver.”

Mr Cutter said that since pubs had reopened those able to offer outdoor space were seeing much more demand than those that weren’t, which was partly why he had held off reopening – but that safety was the main factor.

He said: “We wanted to make sure we were 100pc safe before we opened the door. In this six months we’ve been closed we’ve probably lost around £250,000 that would have gone through the tills but there are some things that are more important than money.

Phil Cutter in his new outside seating area as the Murderers re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPhil Cutter in his new outside seating area as the Murderers re-opens next week. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“If it was about the money we would have opened on July 4 but public safety is far more important. By the time we re-open it will have been 160 days closed but I think delaying it was the right thing to do.”

The pub will pull pints again from Thursday, August 27.


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