Norwich publican bucks the trend and toasts 30 years at city pub
- Credit: Archant
While many pubs are closing across the city, one Norwich publican is celebrating a landmark year.
Norwich is known as a city of pubs, however, more than 25 have closed in the last decade, with the Reindeer Pub in Dereham Road announcing its closure just last week.
But Ian Warren, owner of the Angel Gardens, is bucking the trend.
This month, Mr Warren is celebrating 30 years in charge of the Angel Road pub - which some might not have predicted all those years ago.
Mr Warren said: 'I always remember in my first year putting a menu up on the wall and a gentlemen turned to me and said, 'I can't see food working in a pub around here my man'.
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'Every now and again when he pops in I remind him of the fact we're still doing it 30 years on.'
Mr Warren, 65, said the role of pubs in communities was as important as ever, despite their dwindling numbers.
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He said: 'Pubs definitely have a part to play, especially in smaller villages where if you took their pub away they would have nowhere else to meet.
'Staying at home and drinking is not a substitute for going to the pub. You're just having a drink. You go to the pub to be sociable. Even people who come out to the pub on their own near enough always end up having a chat with someone.'
Mr Warren believes the government could do more to help the pub industry.
He said: 'There should be a minimum cost per unit, set at a sensible level. At the supermarket you can buy a bottle of spirits so cheap, yet the government ask us to promote responsible drinking.'
The pub has changed over the past 30 years. It used to sell beer and not much else, now it offers nine hand pumped ales, a wine list and hot drinks. But one thing that has not changed during Mr Warren's tenure, is the need for elbow grease.
He said: 'You can't be frightened of hard work as a publican. It isn't just a case of sitting at the bar and watching other people earn your money for you. If the cleaner calls at 7am and says they're not coming in, get your dirty clothes on and pick up a mop.'
The pub will be celebrating Mr Warren's 30 year anniversary at the Angel Gardens on Saturday, January 27, with live music and a free buffet.