£10 deposits and street food keep Norwich pub thriving with ‘very few no-shows’

The team at The Last Pub Standing in Norwich on how they've adapted during lockdown, (L-R) Chris Ox

The team at The Last Pub Standing in Norwich on how they've adapted during lockdown, (L-R) Chris Oxbury (general manager), Abbie Carter (marketing manager), Jez Prewer-Andrews (events manager) Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

A Norwich pub is seeing customers staying longer and spending more after lockdown thanks to a refurbished garden, pop-up street food and introducing deposits.

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The Last Pub Standing in King Street has been back open since July 4 and despite only operating at 25pc capacity they have “not noticed too much of a drop in business”.

The team put this down to how they have been able to adapt to the new social distancing guidelines and the popularity of their garden, which was given a refresh during lockdown.

Thankfully, the pub, which originally opened in November 2017, was taken over by new owners last June who invested heavily in the garden with wooden benches and plants.

READ MORE: 9 of the best beer gardens in Norwich

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

They have been able to utilise this with more people now wanting to sit outside and they recently added a canopy to cater for all weather conditions.


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The success of the business post-lockdown has also been helped by the introduction of £10 deposits per person when booking, which is redeemable against food and drink.

Chris Oxbury, general manger, said: “It has really helped as we have had very few no-shows and if people can’t come they have messaged to let us know so our customers have been ace.

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“It has been an adjustment but everybody gets it and we are all in this together.”

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Another factor drawing people to the pub is their new pop-up Soul Kitchen, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday, with options including curry goat and a Bajan chicken sandwich.

READ MORE: Owner of pop-up burger company celebrates ‘mind-blowing’ success in lockdown

Mr Oxbury added: “It has created an extra layer of curiosity and the owner Geoff Mayers has west Indian heritage so his food is all authentic and it is things many people haven’t tried before.”

Events manager Jez Prewer-Andrews has also continued to run music events, with the introduction of an outside stage allowing him to put on live bands in the garden.

Bajan chicken sandwich from Soul Kitchen at the Last Pub Standing Picture: Contributed

Bajan chicken sandwich from Soul Kitchen at the Last Pub Standing Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Mr Oxbury added: “Lockdown was tricky but it gave us the chance to reassess what we are doing as a business and we haven’t noticed too much of a drop in business even with limited capacity.”

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The spacious beer garden at the Last Pub Standing Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

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