Rackheath’s Green Man pub back in business

The Green Man has reopened at Rackheath. Clockwise from front right: Jo Thurling, Emma Ball, Stewart

The Green Man has reopened at Rackheath. Clockwise from front right: Jo Thurling, Emma Ball, Stewart Jefferson, Luis Jardim and Jamie Lowe. Photo: Bill Smith

A famous Norfolk pub that was closed for 18 months is back in business, and hundreds of customers were welcomed back at its reopening.

Stewart Jefferson and Rachel Roofe bought the Green Man pub in Rackheath earlier this year and it reopened this month to good business and positive feedback.

The once popular pub on the busy A1151 between Norwich and Wroxham had been closed since November 2012, but Mr Jefferson said it had great potential.

He said: 'I sat in the pub car park last year. I was already interested in taking it on and I was watching all the traffic go by. I felt it was potentially a real winner and a humongous business opportunity.'

Mr Jefferson was head chef at the St Giles House Hotel in Norwich for five years, and Miss Roofe is still general manager there. They have hired 10 staff including new manager Jo Thurling to help them run the pub and Mr Jefferson said: 'The first day we reopened we had 100 covers, which is not bad for the first day.'

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They have spent an undisclosed amount of money on the pub. 'We have had it revamped/ rewired and repainted and put in new carpets and furniture. We are still repainting outside in a buttermilk/ country cream colour,' Mr Jefferson said.

'We don't have targets or goals yet. For the first year we just want to feel it out, find out what the customers want and get our grounding. Obviously we think with the right people running it, it can be a success.'

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The pub, which dates back to the 18th century, was a popular live music venue and also famed for its Tuesday night jazz evenings, which were into their 10th year when it closed. It was owned for 15 years by Derek Jennings, who died in 2011, aged 58. The pub's last landlord, Iestyn Thomas, who ran it for about 16 months, said before he left that 2012's wash-out summer had hit the pub hard.

Have you got a story about a pub reopening in the Norwich area? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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