Pub brings in log cabins as part of survival plan

PUBLISHED: 11:52 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:24 28 May 2020

The Black Horse Pub landlords, Pam and Terry Gillman.

The Black Horse Pub landlords, Pam and Terry Gillman.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

Log cabins and a new outdoor seating area could be introduced at a town’s pub, as its owners say they are “thinking outside of the box” to rescue their business.

The Black Horse pub in Thetford. Picture: ArchantThe Black Horse pub in Thetford. Picture: Archant

Terry and Pam Gillman, from the Black Horse pub in Thetford, are planning for the future as landlords across the county work out how they will survive once lockdown has lifted.

And in a bid to save their business, the pub owners are turning their focus outside as they hope to create a safe and comfortable space for the community to enjoy.

Mr Gillman said: “We are concentrating on our outdoors areas because we are fortunate to have a huge garden and huge seating area out the front.

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The Black Horse pub in Thetford. Picture: ArchantThe Black Horse pub in Thetford. Picture: Archant

“What we are trying to achieve is giving people a safe environment to use the pub so they are not confined to the indoor space.

“We have contractors starting to resurface the front seating area and we are looking to buy new furniture to make it more comfortable to sit, drink and eat.

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“We have also ordered four log cabins that we hope to install in the back garden to create individual dining areas.”

As work to renovate the pub’s outdoor area, located on Magdalen Street, is set to begin from Monday, June 1, Mr and Mrs Gillman and their chef will be putting their takeaway business on hold to oversee the project.

But the couple have said their popular food service, which has been helping them to survive during lockdown, will be back in operation from the week commencing June 8.

Mr Gillman added: “The hardest thing will be building people’s confidence to come back to the pubs.

“Our internal space is very small, so have had to think outside the box and look for alternatives.

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“We want to try and hit the ground running and get these new areas ready for when they tell us we can reopen.

“But it is difficult to try and plan how to run a business in a new way when we don’t even know what the guidelines will be.

“It’s a very concerning and challenging time but we have been overwhelmed with support from our punters and the community.”

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