One of Norfolk’s best-known pubs reopens its doors

One of the county's best-known pubs has reopened its doors.

As reported in the Norwich Evening News, the Ratcatchers Inn, at Eastgate, Cawston, closed last month.

Peter McCarter, who had been in charge of the pub for 14 years, blamed tough trading conditions, cheap alcohol at supermarkets and the increased VAT rate of 20pc, which the government introduced at the start of the year, for the closure of the award-winning business.

It has now been taken over by Dean Critoph, who also owns the Royal Oak in Bintree, near Dereham, and reopened last Monday. Mr Critoph, 38, who lives in Weston Longville and has just closed the Enterprise Inns-owned Fox and Hounds in Lyng, said: 'Everyone knows the Ratcatchers, it's a household name, and as soon as we knew it was coming up, we tried to get in there as soon as possible.

'We have had massive support from Greene King and from the local community. Customers started to come back as soon as we reopened, which was fantastic.'

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The pub has been bought as a freehold. Mr McCarter, who last month feared he was going to lose his home as well as his job, has been kept on as manager and Donna Woollard has taken over as head chef.

There are plans to extend the building in the future.

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Mr Critoph, who has been in the pub trade for 25 years and is a trained chef, said: 'We're going to continue to do what the Ratcatchers is best known for – good service and good food.'

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